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1 CEU, 10 Contact Hours or 12 PDH's upon completion
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State Approvals
Not all States are listed, only a few States are shown. Please check with your
State for course acceptance information.

Arizona 12 PDHs.

California, CWEA acceptance 12 hours.

Indiana, IDEM Approval WWT05-7525-T10-G00 10 technical contact hours. Expires


Kentucky DOW, #1933 for 12 process control continuing education hours.

Massachusetts, Wastewater approval BC-2004-1522, 10 TCHs.

Michigan, 10 Contact Hours, 1.0 CEC in the Technical Category, approval 1045. Expires
December 31, 2006.

New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation, 10 Contact Hours.

Oregon, OESAC Approval, #889, 1 CEU in Wastewater, 0.3 CEUs in Drinking Water. Expires

Ohio EPA, #S303736 WW only 12 hours, Expires 12/9/2006.

Texas, TCEQ approval #0088, 10 hours for wastewater operators.

Author and Lead Instructor, Melissa Durbin

Please call us if you need any assistance.

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Municipal Wastewater
Municipal wastewater consists primarily of domestic wastes from households and industrial
wastewater from manufacturing and commercial activities. Both types of wastewater are collected in
sanitary sewers, and are usually treated at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. After treatment,
the wastewater is discharged to its receiving
water (e. g., a river, an estuary, or an ocean).

Wastewater entering a treatment plant may

contain organic pollutants (including raw
sewage), metals, nutrients, sediment, bacteria,
and viruses.

Toxic substances used in the home –motor oil,

paint. household cleaners, and pesticides - or
substances released by industries, also make
their way into sanitary sewers.

Industrial processes, such as steel or chemical manufacturing, produce billions of gallons of

wastewater daily. Some industrial pollutants are similar to those in municipal sewage, but often are
more concentrated. Other industrial pollutants are more exotic and include a variety of heavy metals
and synthetic organic compounds. In sufficient dosages, they may present serious hazards to
human health and aquatic organisms. Unlike municipal or industrial sources of pollution, which
come from a single discrete facility, other sources are usually more diffuse. For example, rainwater
or snowmelt washing over farmlands may carry topsoil and fertilizer residues into nearby streams.

This type of runoff, called stormwater, may carry oil and gasoline, agricultural chemicals, nutrients,
heavy metals, and other toxic substances, as well as bacteria, viruses, and oxygen-demanding
compounds. A recent EPA study indicated that roughly one third of identified cases of water quality
impairment nationwide are attributable to stormwater, whether from farmland, streets, parking lots,
construction sites, or other sources.

Animal Feeding Operations (AFOS)

Animal Feeding Operations are livestock-raising operations, such as hog, cattle and poultry farms,
that confine and concentrate animal populations and their waste. Animal waste, if’ not managed
properly, can run off to nearby water bodies and cause serious water pollution and public health
risks. There are approximately 450,000 AFO’s in the United States.

Acid Mine Drainage

Acid Mine Drainage is one of the most significant environmental impacts resulting from past and
current mining activities. It has been cited as a major cause of stream pollution in northern
Appalachia (PA, W. VA, VA, MD); over 50 percent of stream miles in PA and WV do not meet water
quality standards because of acid mine drainage impacts. In addition, there are an estimated
200,000 abandoned hardrock mines nationwide and somewhere between 2,000 and 10.000 active
ones. Some of these mining operations produce waste material and other conditions that result in
acid mine drainage as well as discharges of heavy metals which affect aquatic life and drinking
water sources.

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Gravity belt thickeners are used to remove excess water from sludge.

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CEU/PDH Training Credit Registration Form


$50.00 12 PDHs, 1 CEU, 10 T.U.s
Start and finish dates:___________________________________________________
You will have 90 days from this date in order to complete this course

(This will appear on your certificate as above)



Home ( )_____________Work ( )____________Fax ( )___________________

Social Security_________________________Class/Grade___________________________

Operator ID #________________________Expiration Date_______________________

Please circle which certification you are applying the course CEU’s/PDH’s.

Wastewater Treatment Wastewater Collection Plumber Pretreatment

Water Treatment CAFO Solid Waste Customer Service Water Quality

Sanitarian Groundwater Degree Program Other ________________________________

Your certificate will be mailed to you in about two weeks.

Technical Learning College

P.O. Box 420, Payson, AZ 85547
Toll Free (866) 557-1746 (928) 468-0665
Fax: (928) 468-0675 info@tlch2o.com

Visit us on the web at www.ABCTLC.com

American Express
Master Card / Visa Card #______________________________ Exp. Date_________________

If you’ve paid on the Internet, please write your Customer # _________________

Referral’s Name____________________________________________________________

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Here are secondary rectangular clarifiers with algae growth.

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Course Description
Wastewater Treatment CEU Course
Review of various wastewater treatment methods and related subjects, including sampling,
chemistry and biology. This course is general in nature and not state specific but will contain
different wastewater treatment methods, policies and ideas. You will not need any other materials
for this course.

This course is intended for Wastewater Treatment, Collections, and Pretreatment/Industrial Waste
Inspectors. The target audience for this course is the person interested in working in a wastewater
treatment or collections facility and wishing to maintain CEUs for certification license or to learn how
to do the job safely and effectively, and/or to meet education needs for promotion.

Basic Course Goals

I. The basic system components of a wastewater treatment facility
a. Define Process design
b. Define Complete Mix Activated Sludge Process
c. Define Plug Flow Activated Sludge Process
d. Define Contact Stabilization Activated Sludge Process
e. Define Step Feed Activated Sludge Process
f. Define Extended Aeration Activated Sludge Process
g. Define Oxidation Ditch Activated Sludge Process
h. Define High Purity Oxygen Activated Sludge
II. Aeration
a. Diffused, mechanical, and submerged
III. Secondary clarifier
IV. Microorganisms
a. Basic Process Goals
b. RAS
c. WAS
V. Troubleshooting
VI. Laboratory Procedures
VII. Definitions
Primary Treatment
Learning Objectives and Timed Outcomes Ten students were tested and the average time
for each task was recorded as the following.
1. Understand wastewater treatment. 220 Minutes.
2. Overview and understanding of different activated sludge processes. 190 Minutes
3. A detailed understanding of the operations and components of clarifiers. 75 Minutes.
4. A brief look at the microorganisms used along with the terminology and formulas to determine
their performance. 55 Minutes
5. Scenarios and problems found in the clarifiers and possible corrective measures.
65 Minutes.
6. EPA Wastewater Rules and Regulations. 55 Minutes.
7. Related Operator OSHA Rules and Regulations. 115 Minutes.
8. Wastewater Analyses and other Laboratory Procedures. 145 Minutes.

Prerequisites: None

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Ten students were tested and the average time necessary to complete each task was recorded as
the stated in the above objectives and timed outcome section. In the above timed outcome section
area, the tasks were measured using times spent on each specific objective goal and final
assignment grading of 70% and higher. Thirteen students were given a task assignment survey in
which to track their times on the above learning objectives (course content) and utilized a multiple
choice style answer sheet to complete their final assignment. All students were given 30 days to
complete this assignment and survey. Jim Bevan and Jerry Durbin, Proctors, October 2000.

Beta Testing Group Statistics

Twelve students were selected for this assignment. All the students held wastewater treatment or
collection or both certifications. None of the test group received credit for their assignment. The
average times were based upon the outcome of ten students. Three students did not complete or
failed the course. The average educational age of this group was the not recorded. Our best
professional judgment that this is a moderately easily completable course for the beginning to
intermediate level of certified operator.

Course Procedures for Registration and Support

All of Technical Learning College correspondence courses have complete registration and support
services offered. Delivery of services will include, e-mail, web site, telephone, fax and mail support.
TLC will attempt immediate and prompt service.

When a student registers for a correspondence course, he/she is assigned a start date and an end
date. It is the student's responsibility to note dates for assignments and keep up with the course
work. If a student falls behind, he/she must contact TLC and request an end date extension in
order to complete the course. It is the prerogative of TLC to decide whether to grant the request. All
students will be tracked by their social security number or a unique number will be assigned to the

Instructions for Written Assignments

The Wastewater Treatment correspondence course uses a multiple choice style answer key.
You can write your answers in this manual or type out your own answer key. TLC would prefer
that you type out and e-mail each of the chapter examinations to TLC, but it is not required.

Feedback Mechanism (examination procedures)

Each student will receive a feedback form as part of their study packet. You will be able to find this
form in the rear of the course or lesson.

Security and Integrity

All students are required to do their own work. All lesson sheets and final exams are not returned
to the student to discourage sharing of answers. Any fraud or deceit and the student will forfeit all
fees and the appropriate agency will be notified.

Grading Criteria
TLC will offer the student either pass/fail or a standard letter grading assignment. If TLC is not
notified, you will only receive a pass/fail notice.

Required Texts
The Wastewater Treatment course will not require any other materials. This course comes
complete. No other materials are needed.

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Environmental Terms, Abbreviations, and Acronyms
TLC provides a glossary that defines in non-technical language commonly used environmental
terms appearing in publications and materials. It also explains abbreviations and acronyms used
throughout the EPA and other agencies. You can find the glossary in the rear of the manual.

Recordkeeping and Reporting Practices

TLC will keep all student records for a minimum of seven years. It is your responsibility to give the
completion certificate to the appropriate agencies. TLC will mail a copy to Indiana and to Texas,
Indiana and to any other State that requires a copy from the Training Provider.

ADA Compliance
TLC will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students
should notify TLC and their instructors of any special needs. Course content may vary from this
outline to meet the needs of this particular group. Alternative assignment is available.

100 Total Points

There are 100 total points possible for the course: This course is graded on a "P" (credit) or "Z" (no
credit) basis. If you desire a letter grade for this course, you must inform the instructor prior to
submitting any of the assignments.
Note to students: Final course grades are based on the total number of possible points. The
grading scale is administered equally to all students in the course. Do not expect to receive a grade
higher than that merited by your total points. No point adjustments will be made for class
participation or other subjective factors.

Credit/no credit option (P/Z) - None Available

Note to students: Keep a copy of everything that you submit. That way if your work is lost you
can submit your copy for grading. If you do not receive your certificate of completion or quiz results
within two or three weeks after submitting it, please contact your instructor.

We expect every student to produce his/her original, independent work. Any student whose work
indicates a violation of the Academic Misconduct Policy (cheating, plagiarism) can expect penalties
as specified in the Student Handbook, which is available through Student Services; contact them at
(928) 468-0665.

A student who registers for a Distance Learning course is assigned a "start date" and an "end
date." It is the student's responsibility to note due dates for assignments and to keep up with
the course work.
If a student falls behind, she/he must contact the instructor and request an extension of her/his
end date in order to complete the course.

It is the prerogative of the instructor to decide whether or not to grant the request.
You will have 90 days from receipt of this manual to complete in order to receive your
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or Professional Development Hours (PDHs). A score of 70
% is necessary to pass this course.

If you should need any assistance, please email all concerns and the final test to

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Educational Mission
The educational mission of TLC is:
To provide TLC students with comprehensive and ongoing training in the theory and skills
needed for the environmental education field,

To provide TLC students opportunities to apply and understand the theory and skills needed for
operator certification,

To provide opportunities for TLC students to learn and practice environmental educational skills
with members of the community for the purpose of sharing diverse perspectives and

To provide a forum in which students can exchange experiences and ideas related to
environmental education,

To provide a forum for the collection and dissemination of current information related to
environmental education, and to maintain an environment that nurtures academic and personal

Course Objective: To provide awareness in effective and efficient wastewater

treatment methods and generally accepted wastewater treatment practices.

Operator’s Lab with sludge samples.

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Acronyms 15
Key Words 17
Clean Water Act Chapter 1 19
Regulation Highlights 21
Wastewater Treatment Introduction 23
Wastewater Treatment Components 35
Basic Wastewater Process 37
Secondary Treatment 39
Tertiary Treatment 47
Trickling Filter 49
Chapter Highlights 55

Activated Sludge Chapter 2 59

Complete Mix Process 63
Contact Stabilization 65
Extended Aeration 67
Aeration 69
Blowers 71
Diffusers 73
Secondary Clarifiers 75
Scum Removal 79
Microlife 81
Algae 85
Review Process Goals 91
RAS/WAS Systems 97
Constant Rate 99
RBC 101
Operator Highlights 105

Chlorine Chapter 3 113

Health Hazards 107
Chemistry 127 Electric 3-phase motor &
Chlorinator Parts 134 pump used for activated sludge
Required Equipment 135
Respiratory Protection 141

Collections Chapter 4 143

Pre-quiz 145
Wastewater Collection 149
Sanitary Sewer Overflows 151
Gravity Sewers 153
I&I 156
Smoke Testing 159
Manholes 163
Low-Pressure Systems 167
Collection Highlights 171

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Grease Chapter 5 175
Interceptors 178

Pumps and Lift Station Chapter 6 181

Pump Objectives 183
Pump Definitions 185
Motor Coupling and Bearings 192
Couplings 195
Pump Categories 197
Pump Troubleshooting 205
Pumping/Lift Station Highlights 207

Hydrogen Sulfide Chapter 7 211 Weir

Hydrogen Sulfide Highlights 215

Safety Chapter 8
Other Hazards 216
Corrosive Atmosphere 217
Safety Highlights 219

Conversion Factors 221

Glossary 225
Assignment 237
Assignment Answer Key 263 High Rate Trickling Filter
Customer Survey 264

Copyright Notice
©2005 Technical Learning College (TLC) No part of this work may be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means without TLC’s prior
written approval. Permission has been sought for all images and text where we believe copyright exists and where the copyright holder is
traceable and contactable. All material that is not credited or acknowledged is the copyright of Technical Learning College. This information is
intended for educational purposes only. Most uncredited photographs have been taken by TLC instructors or TLC students. We will be pleased to
hear from any copyright holder and will make good on your work if any unintentional copyright infringements were made as soon as these issues
are brought to the editor's attention.

Every possible effort is made to ensure that all information provided in this course is accurate. All written, graphic, photographic or other
material is provided for information only. Therefore, Technical Learning College accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the
application or misuse of any information included herein. Requests for permission to make copies should be made to the following address:
P.O. Box 420
Payson, AZ 85547
Information in this document is subject to change without notice. TLC is not liable for errors or omissions appearing in this document.

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Common Wastewater Acronyms and Terms

A/E Contract - Architectural and Engineering Contracts

AMSA - Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies

BOD - Biochemical Oxygen Demand

COD - Chemical Oxygen Demand

CSO - Combined Sewer Overflow

D&D - Drying and Dewatering Facility

DNR - Department of Natural Resources Screen

EPA or USEPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency

GIS - Geographic Information System

HHWP - Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program

I/I - Infiltration and Inflow

I&C - Instrumentation and Control System

IWPP - Industrial Waste Pretreatment Program

ISS - Inline Storage System

LIMS - Laboratory Information Management Systems

MBDT - Minority Business Development and Training

MBE - Minority Business Enterprise

MGD - Million gallons per day

P2 - Pollution Prevention Initiative

QA/QC - Quality Assurance and Quality Control Confined Space

S/W/MBE - Small, Women's, Minority Business Enterprise

SSES - Sewer System Evaluation Survey

TAT - Technical Advisory Team

WAS - Waste Activated Sludge

WPAP - Water Pollution Abatement Program

WWTP - Wastewater Treatment Plants

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Key Wastewater Words
Amine A functional group consisting of "-NH2."

Amino acid A functional group that consists of a carbon with a carboxylic acid, "-COOH" and an amine, "-
NH2." These compounds are the building blocks for proteins.

Anabolism Biosynthesis, the production of new cellular materials from other organic or inorganic

Anaerobes A group of organisms that do not require molecular oxygen. These organisms, as well as all
known life forms, require oxygen. These organisms obtain their oxygen from inorganic ions such as nitrate
or sulfate or from protein.

Anaerobic process A process that only occurs in the absence of molecular oxygen.

Anoxic process A process that occurs only at very low levels of molecular oxygen or in the absence of
molecular oxygen.

Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) The amount of oxygen required to oxidize any organic matter
present in a water during a specified period of time, usually 5 days. It is an indirect measure of the amount
of organic matter present in a water.

Carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD) The amount of oxygen required to oxidize any
carbon containing matter present in a water.

Chemical oxygen demand (COD) The amount of oxygen required to oxidize any organic matter in the
water using harsh chemical conditions.

Decomposers Organisms that utilize energy from wastes or dead organisms. Decomposers complete the
cycle by returning nutrients to the soil or water and carbon dioxide to the air or water.

Denitrification The anoxic biological conversion of nitrate to nitrogen gas. It occurs naturally in surface
waters low in oxygen, and it can be engineered in wastewater treatment systems.

Deoxygenation The consumption of oxygen by the different aquatic organisms as they oxidized materials
in the aquatic environment.

Facultative A group of microorganisms which prefer or preferentially use molecular oxygen when
available, but are capable of suing other pathways for energy and synthesis if molecular oxygen is not

Nitrification The biological oxidation of ammonia and ammonium sequentially to nitrite and then nitrate. It
occurs naturally in surface waters, and can be engineered in wastewater treatment systems. The purpose
of nitrification in wastewater treatment systems is a reduction in the oxygen demand resulting from the

Nitrogen fixation The conversion of atmospheric (or dissolved) nitrogen gas into nitrate by

Nitrogenous oxygen demand (NOD) The amount of oxygen required to oxidize any ammonia present in
a water.

NPDES The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The discharge criteria and permitting
system established by the U.S. EPA as a result of the Clean Water Act and its subsequent amendments
or the permit required by each discharger as a result of the Clean Water Act.

Mixed liquor suspended solids (MLSS) The total suspended solids concentration in the activated sludge
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Mixed liquor volatile suspended solids (MLVSS) The volatile suspended solids concentration in the
activated sludge tank.

Organic compound Any compound containing carbon except for the carbonates (carbon dioxide, the
carbonates and bicarbonates), the cyanides, and cyanates.

Organic nitrogen Nitrogen contained as amines in organic compounds such as amino acids and proteins.

Oxidative phosphorylation The synthesis of the energy storage compound adenosine triphosphate
(ATP) from adenosine diphosphate (ADP) using a chemical substrate and molecular oxygen.

Secondary treatment In wastewater treatment, the conversion of the suspended, colloidal and dissolved
organics remaining after primary treatment into a microbial mass with is then removed in a second
sedimentation process. Secondary treatment included both the biological process and the associated
sedimentation process.

Sludge A mixture of solid waste material and water. Sludges result from the concentration of
contaminants in water and wastewater treatment processes. Typical wastewater sludges contain from 0.5
to 10 percent solid matter. Typical water treatment sludges contain 8 to 10 percent solids.

Thiols Organic compounds which contain the "-SH" functional group. Also called mercaptans.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) is the amount of dissolved matter in the water.

Total solids (TS) is the amount of organic and inorganic matter that is contained in a water.

Total suspended solids (TSS) is the amount of suspended (filterable) matter in a water.

Ultimate biochemical oxygen demand (BODu) The total amount of oxygen required to oxidize any
organic matter present in a water, i.e. after an extended period, such as 20 or 30 days.
Virus A submicroscopic genetic constituent that can alternate between two distinct phases. As a virus
particle, or virion, it is DNA or RNA enveloped in an organic capsule. As an intracellular virus, it is viral
DNA or RNA inserted into the host organisms DNA or RNA.

Volatile A material that will vaporize easily.

Volatile solids (VS) is the amount of matter which volatilizes (or burns) when a water sample is heated to

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Clean Water Act Chapter 1
What is Wastewater Treatment?
Wastewater treatment is the process of cleaning used water and sewage so it can be
returned safely to our environment. Wastewater treatment is the last line of defense against
water pollution. If you envision the water cycle as a whole, you can see that the clean water
produced by wastewater treatment is the same water that eventually ends up back in our
lakes and rivers, from which we get our drinking water.

Why Are Wastewater Treatment Plants Important?

Wastewater treatment plants are vital to our communities. They protect public health by
eliminating disease-causing bacteria from water. By protecting water quality, wastewater
treatment plants make it possible for us to safely enjoy the recreational use of clean oceans,
lakes, streams and rivers.
33 U.S.C. s/s 1251 et seq. (1977)
The Clean Water Act is a 1977 amendment to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972,
which set the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants to waters of the United States.

The law gave the EPA the authority to set

effluent standards on an industry basis
(technology-based) and continued the
requirements to set water quality standards for
all contaminants in surface waters. The CWA
makes it unlawful for any person to discharge
any pollutant from a point source into
navigable waters unless a permit (NPDES) is
obtained under the Act.

The 1977 amendments focused on toxic

pollutants. In 1987, the PCA was reauthorized
and again focused on toxic substances, authorized citizen suit provisions, and funded sewage
treatment plants (POTW's) under the Construction Grants Program.

The CWA provisions for the delegation by the EPA of many permitting, administrative, and
enforcement aspects of the law to state governments. In states with the authority to implement
CWA programs, the EPA still retains oversight responsibilities. In 1972, Congress enacted the first
comprehensive national clean water legislation in response to growing public concern for serious
and widespread water pollution. The Clean Water Act is the primary federal law that protects our
nation’s waters, including lakes, rivers, aquifers and coastal areas.

Lake Erie was dying. The Potomac River was clogged with blue-green algae blooms that were a
nuisance and a threat to public health. Many of the nation's rivers were little more than open sewers
and sewage frequently washed up on shore. Fish kills were a common sight. Wetlands were
disappearing at a rapid rate.

Today, the quality of our waters has improved dramatically as a result of a cooperative effort by
federal, state, tribal and local governments to implement the pollution control programs established
in 1972 by the Clean Water Act.

The Clean Water Act's primary objective is to restore and maintain the integrity of the nation's
waters. This objective translates into two fundamental national goals:
• eliminate the discharge of pollutants into the nation's waters, and
• achieve water quality levels that are fishable and swimmable.
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The Clean Water Act focuses on improving the quality of the nation’s waters. It provides a
comprehensive framework of standards, technical tools and financial assistance to address the
many causes of pollution and poor water quality, including municipal and industrial wastewater
discharges, polluted runoff from urban and rural areas, and habitat destruction. For example, the
Clean Water Act: requires major industries, to meet performance standards to ensure pollution
control; charges states and tribes with setting specific water quality criteria appropriate for their
waters and developing pollution control programs to meet them; provides funding to states and
communities to help them meet their clean water infrastructure needs; protects valuable wetlands
and other aquatic habitats through a permitting process that ensures development and other
activities are conducted in an environmentally sound manner. After 25 years, the Act continues to
provide a clear path for clean water and a solid foundation for an effective national water program.

In 1972
Only a third of the nation's waters were safe for fishing and swimming. Wetlands losses were
estimated at about 460,000 acres annually. Agricultural runoff resulted in the erosion of 2.25 billion
tons of soil and the deposit of large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen into many waters. Sewage
treatment plants served only 85 million people.

Two-thirds of the nation's waters are safe for fishing and swimming. The rate of annual wetlands
losses is estimated at about 70,000-90,000 acres according to recent studies. The amount of soil
lost due to agricultural runoff has been cut by one billion tons annually, and phosphorus and
nitrogen levels in water sources are down. Modern wastewater treatment facilities serve 173 million

The Future
All Americans will enjoy clean water that is safe for fishing and swimming. We will achieve a net
gain of wetlands by preventing additional losses and restoring hundreds of thousands of acres of
wetlands. Soil erosion and runoff of phosphorus and nitrogen into watersheds will be minimized,
helping to sustain the nation's farming economy and aquatic systems. The nation's waters will be
free of effects of sewage discharges.

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Regulation Highlights
Sewage is the wastewater released by residences, businesses and industries in a community. It is
99.94 percent water, with only 0.06 percent of the wastewater dissolved and suspended solid
material. The cloudiness of sewage is caused by suspended particles that in untreated sewage
ranges from 100 to 350 mg/l. A measure of the strength of the wastewater is biochemical oxygen
demand, or BOD5. The BOD5 measures the amount of oxygen microorganisms require in five days
to break down sewage. Untreated sewage has a BOD5 ranging from 100 mg/l to 300 mg/l.
Pathogens or disease-causing organisms are present in sewage. Coliform bacteria are used as an
indicator of disease-causing organisms. Sewage also contains nutrients (such as ammonia and
phosphorus), minerals, and metals. Ammonia can range from 12 to 50 mg/l and phosphorus can
range from 6 to 20 mg/l in untreated sewage.

Sewage treatment is a multi-stage process to renovate wastewater before it reenters a body of

water, is applied to the land or is reused. The goal is to reduce or remove organic matter, solids,
nutrients, disease-causing organisms and other pollutants from wastewater. Each receiving body of
water has limits to the amount of pollutants it can receive without degradation. Therefore, each
sewage treatment plant must hold a permit listing the allowable levels of BOD5, suspended solids,
coliform bacteria and other pollutants. The discharge permits are called NPDES permits which
stands for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

A person shall not install or maintain a connection between any part of a sewage treatment facility
and a potable water supply so that sewage or wastewater contaminates a potable or public water

Depending upon your State regulation, the definition of 'direct responsible charge' is usually
means day-to-day decision-making responsibility for a facility or major portion of a facility.

Depending on your State regulation, you have 10 days for a certified operator to notify the
Department (in writing) that the operator either ceases or commences operation of another facility.

Depending on your State regulation, an owner or operator of a new sewage treatment facility shall
insure that the facility meets which of the following performance requirements for secondary
treatment levels upon release of the treated wastewater at the outfall: Five-day biochemical oxygen
demand (BOD5) less than 30 mg/L (30-day average) and 45 mg/L (seven-day average), or
carbonaceous biochemical oxygen demand (CBOD5) less than 25 mg/L (30-day average) or
40mg/L (seven-day average). Total suspended solids (TSS) less than 30 mg/L (30-day average)
and 45 mg/L (seven-day average). pH maintained between 6.0 and 9.0 standard units and a
removal efficiency of 85% for BOD5, CBOD5 and TSS.

Depending on your State regulation, if an operator certificate is revoked, the operator must wait 12
months before becoming eligible for retesting.

Depending on your State regulation, the definition of 'sewage' will consist of untreated wastes from
toilets, baths, sinks, lavatories, laundries, and other plumbing fixtures in places of human habitation,
employment, or recreation.

Depending on your State regulation, the definition of 'supervisory experience' is a skill or

knowledge obtained by employment that includes responsible, technical, and operational direction
of a facility or a portion of a facility.

Depending on your State regulation, upon expiration of an operator certificate, you have 90 days to
reinstate the certificate without retaking an examination.

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A person shall never bypass untreated sewage from a sewage treatment plant.

Depending on your State regulation, an on-site representative is a person located at a facility that
monitors the daily operation at the facility and maintains contact with the remote operator regarding
the facility.

Depending on your State regulation, the definition of an 'On-site operator' is usually an operator
who visits a facility at least daily to ensure that it is operating properly.

Facility means a water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, distribution system or collection

Preliminary Treatment
The Preliminary Treatment is purely physical stage consisting of Coarse Screening, Raw Influent
Pumping, Static Fine Screening, Grit Removal, and Selector Tanks. The raw wastewater enters
from the collection system into the Coarse Screening process. The Coarse Screening consists of a
basket shaped bar screen which collects larger debris (several inches in diameter) prior to the Raw
Influent Pumping. This debris is removed and placed into a dumpster for disposal into the landfill.
The wastewater then passes into the Raw Influent Pumping process that consist of three
submersible centrifugal pumps. These influent pumps operate under a principal termed prerotation,
which allows them to vary their pump rate hydraulically without the use of complex and expensive
electronics. The flow then passes into the Static Fine Screening process which consists of two
stationary (or static) screens which remove finer debris not captured by the coarse screens. This
screened debris is then dewatered and collected in hoppers for disposal into a landfill. The
wastewater then passes into the Grit Removal process which consists of two vortex grit separators
which produce a whirlpool action to force the finest debris to the outside perimeter for subsequent
collection. This debris is then collected in hoppers, dewatered, and disposed into a landfill. The
screened and de-gritted wastewater then enters into the Selector Tanks process which is
composed of two rectangular tanks which combine the flow with Return Sludge (consisting mainly
of microorganisms) for entry into the biological, or Secondary treatment stage.

The Secondary Treatment stage consists of a biological process, Oxidation Ditches and a physical
process, Secondary Clarification. The Preliminary Treatment stage removed as much solids as
possible using physical processes, however, very fine solids are still present that cannot be
removed physically. Therefore, the wastewater enters from Preliminary Treatment into the Oxidation
Ditches process which is a biological process consisting of two large oval shaped basins which are
capable of removing these finer solids. This is accomplished by maintaining a population of
microorganisms within the oxidation basins which consume the very fine solids (which are primarily
organic) and also adhere to the solids themselves. By consuming and adhering to these finer solids
they form larger and heavier aggregates that can by physically separated. Thus, after this process
has taken place within the Oxidation Ditches Process the wastewater then enters Secondary
Clarification process which can provide this physical separation.

The Secondary Clarification process consists of four rectangular tanks which provide quiescent (or
calm) conditions which allow the larger aggregates of solids and microorganisms to settled out for
collection. The clear overflow (or upper layer) is collected at the end of the tank and passed onto
the Tertiary Filtration process for additional treatment. The majority of microorganism-rich underflow
(or lower layer) is re-circulated to Selector Tanks as Return Sludge to help sustain the
microorganism population in the Oxidation Ditches process. However, if all the underflow was
returned the plant would soon become overloaded with solids, therefore, a small portion of this
mixture termed Waste Sludge, is removed from the system for disposal. The Waste Sludge is
transported into the Solids Handing process for disposal.

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Wastewater Treatment Introduction
One of the most common forms of pollution control in the United States is wastewater treatment.
The country has a vast system of collection sewers, pumping stations, and treatment plants.
Sewers collect the wastewater from homes, businesses, and many industries, and deliver it to
plants for treatment. Most treatment plants were built to clean wastewater for discharge into
streams or other receiving waters, or for reuse.

Years ago, when sewage was dumped into waterways, a natural process of purification began.
First, the sheer volume of clean water in the stream diluted wastes. Bacteria and other small
organisms in the water consumed the sewage and other organic matter, turning it into new bacterial
cells; carbon dioxide and other products.

Today’s higher populations and greater volume of domestic and industrial wastewater require
that communities give nature a helping hand. The basic function of wastewater treatment is to
speed up the natural processes by which water is purified.

There are two basic stages in the treatment of wastes, primary and secondary, which are
outlined here.

In the primary stage, solids are

allowed to settle and removed
from wastewater. The secondary
stage uses biological processes
to further purify wastewater.
Sometimes, these stages are
combined into one operation.

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What is in Wastewater?
Wastewater is mostly water by weight. Other materials make up only a small portion of wastewater,
but can be present in large enough quantities to endanger public health and the environment.
Because practically anything that can be flushed down a toilet, drain, or sewer can be found in
wastewater, even household sewage contains many potential pollutants. The wastewater
components that should be of most concern to homeowners and communities are those that have
the potential to cause disease or detrimental environmental effects.

Many different types of organisms live in wastewater and some are essential contributors to
treatment. A variety of bacteria, protozoa, and worms work to break down certain carbon-based
(organic) pollutants in wastewater by consuming them. Through this process, organisms turn
wastes into carbon dioxide, water, or new cell growth.

Bacteria and other microorganisms are particularly plentiful in wastewater and accomplish most of
the treatment. Most wastewater treatment systems are designed to rely in large part on biological

Many disease-causing viruses, parasites, and bacteria also are present in wastewater and enter
from almost anywhere in the community. These pathogens often originate from people and animals
who are infected with or are carriers of a disease. Graywater and blackwater from typical homes
contain enough pathogens to pose a risk to public health. Other likely sources in communities
include hospitals, schools, farms, and food processing plants.

Some illnesses from wastewater-related sources are relatively common. Gastroenteritis can result
from a variety of pathogens in wastewater, and cases of illnesses caused by the parasitic protozoa
Giardia lambia and Cryptosporidium are not unusual in the U.S. Other important wastewater-related
diseases include hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, cholera, and dysentery. Outbreaks of these diseases
can occur as a result of drinking water from wells polluted by wastewater, eating contaminated fish,
or recreational activities in polluted waters. Some illnesses can be spread by animals and insects
that come in contact with wastewater.

Even municipal drinking water sources are not completely immune to health risks from wastewater
pathogens. Drinking water treatment efforts can become overwhelmed when water resources are
heavily polluted by wastewater. For this reason, wastewater treatment is as important to public
health as drinking water treatment.

Organic Matter
Organic materials are found everywhere in the environment. They are composed of the carbon-
based chemicals that are the building blocks of most living things. Organic materials in wastewater
originate from plants, animals, or synthetic organic compounds, and enter wastewater in human
wastes, paper products, detergents, cosmetics, foods, and from agricultural, commercial, and
industrial sources.

Organic compounds normally are some combination of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and
other elements. Many organics are proteins, carbohydrates, or fats and are biodegradable, which
means they can be consumed and broken down by organisms. However, even biodegradable
materials can cause pollution. In fact, too much organic matter in wastewater can be devastating to
receiving waters.

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Large amounts of biodegradable materials are dangerous to lakes, streams, and oceans, because
organisms use dissolved oxygen in the water to break down the wastes. This can reduce or deplete
the supply of oxygen in the water needed by aquatic life, resulting in fish kills, odors, and overall
degradation of water quality. The amount of oxygen organisms need to break down wastes in
wastewater is referred to as the biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) and is one of the
measurements used to assess overall wastewater strength.

Some organic compounds are more stable than others and cannot be quickly broken down by
organisms, posing an additional challenge for treatment. This is true of many synthetic organic
compounds developed for agriculture and industry.

In addition, certain synthetic organics are highly toxic. Pesticides and herbicides are toxic to
humans, fish, and aquatic plants and often are disposed of improperly in drains or carried in
stormwater. In receiving waters, they kill or contaminate fish, making them unfit to eat. They also
can damage processes in treatment plants. Benzene and toluene are two toxic organic compounds
found in some solvents, pesticides, and other products. New synthetic organic compounds are
being developed all the time, which can complicate treatment efforts.

Oil and Grease

Fatty organic materials from animals, vegetables, and petroleum also are not quickly broken down
by bacteria and can cause pollution in receiving environments. When large amounts of oils and
greases are discharged to receiving waters from community systems, they increase BOD and they
may float to the surface and harden, causing aesthetically unpleasing conditions. They also can
trap trash, plants, and other materials, causing foul odors, attracting flies and mosquitoes and other
disease vectors. In some cases, too much oil and grease causes septic conditions in ponds and
lakes by preventing oxygen from the atmosphere from reaching the water.

Onsite systems also can be harmed by too much oil and grease, which can clog onsite system
drainfield pipes and soils, adding to the risk of system failure. Excessive grease also adds to the
septic tank scum layer, causing more frequent tank pumping to be required. Both possibilities can
result in significant costs to homeowners.

Petroleum-based waste oils used for motors and industry are considered hazardous waste and
should be collected and disposed of separately from wastewater.

Inorganic minerals, metals, and compounds, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium,
cadmium, copper, lead, nickel, and zinc are common in wastewater from both residential and
nonresidential sources. They can originate from a variety of sources in the community including
industrial and commercial sources, stormwater, and inflow and infiltration from cracked pipes and
leaky manhole covers. Most inorganic substances are relatively stable, and cannot be broken down
easily by organisms in wastewater.

Large amounts of many inorganic substances can contaminate soil and water. Some are toxic to
animals and humans and may accumulate in the environment. For this reason, extra treatment
steps are often required to remove inorganic materials from industrial wastewater sources. For
example, heavy metals which are discharged with many types of industrial wastewaters, are difficult
to remove by conventional treatment methods. Although acute poisonings from heavy metals in
drinking water are rare in the U.S., potential long-term health effects of ingesting small amounts of
some inorganic substances over an extended period of time are possible.

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Wastewater often contains large amounts of the nutrients nitrogen and phosphorus in the form of
nitrate and phosphate, which promote plant growth. Organisms only require small amounts of
nutrients in biological treatment, so there normally is an excess available in treated wastewater. In
severe cases, excessive nutrients in receiving waters cause algae and other plants to grow quickly
depleting oxygen in the water. Deprived of oxygen, fish and other aquatic life die, emitting foul

Nutrients from wastewater have also linked to ocean "red tides" that poison fish and cause illness in
humans. Nitrogen in drinking water may contribute to miscarriages and is the cause of a serious
illness in infants called methemoglobinemia or "blue baby syndrome."

Solid materials in wastewater can consist of organic and/or inorganic materials and organisms. The
solids must be significantly reduced by treatment or they can increase BOD when discharged to
receiving waters and provide places for microorganisms to escape disinfection. They also can clog
soil absorption fields in onsite systems.
* Settleable solids-Certain substances, such as sand, grit, and heavier organic and inorganic
materials settle out from the rest of the wastewater stream during the preliminary stages of
treatment. On the bottom of settling tanks and ponds, organic material makes up a biologically
active layer of sludge that aids in treatment.
* Suspended solids-Materials that resist settling may remain suspended in wastewater. Suspended
solids in wastewater must be treated, or they will clog soil absorption systems or reduce the
effectiveness of disinfection systems.
* Dissolved solids-Small particles of certain wastewater materials can dissolve like salt in water.
Some dissolved materials are consumed by microorganisms in wastewater, but others, such as
heavy metals, are difficult to remove by conventional treatment. Excessive amounts of dissolved
solids in wastewater can have adverse effects on the environment.

Certain gases in wastewater can cause odors, affect treatment, or are potentially dangerous.
Methane gas, for example, is a byproduct of anaerobic biological treatment and is highly
combustible. Special precautions need to be taken near septic tanks, manholes, treatment plants,
and other areas where wastewater gases can collect.

The gases hydrogen sulfide and ammonia can be toxic and pose asphyxiation hazards. Ammonia
as a dissolved gas in wastewater also is dangerous to fish. Both gases emit odors, which can be a
serious nuisance. Unless effectively contained or minimized by design and location, wastewater
odors can affect the mental well-being and quality of life of residents. In some cases, odors can
even lower property values and affect the local economy.

Dispose of Household Hazardous Wastes Safely

Many household products are potentially hazardous to people and the environment and never
should be flushed down drains, toilets, or storm sewers. Treatment plant workers can be injured
and wastewater systems can be damaged as a result of improper disposal of hazardous materials.
Other hazardous chemicals cannot be treated effectively by municipal wastewater systems and may
reach local drinking water sources. When flushed into septic systems and other onsite systems,
they can temporarily disrupt the biological processes in the tank and soil absorption field, allowing
hazardous chemicals and untreated wastewater to reach groundwater.

Some examples of hazardous household materials include motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze,
paint, paint thinner, varnish, polish, wax, solvents, pesticides, rat poison, oven cleaner, and battery
fluid. Many of these materials can be recycled or safely disposed of at community recycling centers.

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Other Important Wastewater Characteristics
In addition to the many substances found in wastewater, there are other characteristics system
designers and operators use to evaluate wastewater. For example, the color, odor, and turbidity of
wastewater give clues about the amount and type of pollutants present and treatment necessary.
The following are some other important wastewater characteristics that can affect public health and
the environment, as well as the design, cost, and effectiveness of treatment.

The best temperatures for wastewater treatment probably range from 77 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
In general, biological treatment activity accelerates in warm temperatures and slows in cool
temperatures, but extreme hot or cold can stop treatment processes altogether. Therefore, some
systems are less effective during cold weather and some may not be appropriate for very cold

Wastewater temperature also affects receiving waters. Hot water, for example, which is a byproduct
of many manufacturing processes, can be a pollutant. When discharged in large quantities, it can
raise the temperature of receiving streams locally and disrupt the natural balance of aquatic life.

The acidity or alkalinity of wastewater affects both treatment and the environment. Low pH indicates
increasing acidity, while a high pH indicates increasing alkalinity (a pH of 7 is neutral). The pH of
wastewater needs to remain between 6 and 9 to protect organisms. Acids and other substances
that alter pH can inactivate treatment processes when they enter wastewater from industrial or
commercial sources.

Whether a system serves a single home or an entire community, it must be able to handle
fluctuations in the quantity and quality of wastewater it receives to ensure proper treatment is
provided at all times. Systems that are inadequately designed or hydraulically overloaded may fail
to provide treatment and allow the release of pollutants to the environment.

To design systems that are both as safe and as cost-effective as possible, engineers must estimate
the average and maximum (peak) amount of flows generated by various sources.
Because extreme fluctuations in flow can occur during different times of the day and on different
days of the week, estimates are based on observations of the minimum and maximum amounts of
water used on an hourly, daily, weekly, and seasonal basis. The possibility of instantaneous peak
flow events that result from several or all water-using appliances or fixtures being used at once also
is taken into account.

The number, type, and efficiency of all water-using fixtures and appliances at the source is factored
into the estimate (for example, the number and amount of water normally used by faucets, toilets,
and washing machines), as is the number of possible users or units that can affect the amount of
water used (for example, the number of residents, bedrooms, customers, students, patients, seats,
or meals served).

According to studies, water use in many homes is lowest from about midnight to 5 a.m., averaging
less than one gallon per person per hour, but then rises sharply in the morning around 6 am. to a
little over 3 gallons per person per hour. During the day, water use drops off moderately and rises
again in the early evening hours. Weekly peak flows may occur in some homes on weekends,
especially when all adults work during the week. In U.S. homes, average water use is approximately
45 gallons per person per day, but may range from 35 to 60 gallons or more.

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Peak flows at stores and other businesses typically occur during business hours and during meal
times at restaurants. Rental properties, resorts, and commercial establishments in tourist areas may
have extreme flow variations seasonally,

Estimating flow volumes for centralized treatment systems is a complicated task, especially when
designing a new treatment plant in a community where one has never existed previously.

Engineers must allow for additional flows during wet weather due to inflow and infiltration of extra
water into sewers. Excess water can enter sewers through leaky manhole covers and cracked
pipes and pipe joints, diluting wastewater, which affects its overall characteristics. This can increase
flows to treatment plants sometimes by as much as three or four times the original design load.

The main focus of wastewater treatment plants is to reduce the BOD and COD in the effluent
discharged to natural waters, meeting state and federal discharge criteria. Wastewater treatment
plants are designed to function as "microbiology farms," where bacteria and other microorganisms
are fed oxygen and organic waste.

Treatment of wastewater usually involves biological processes such as the activated sludge system
in the secondary stage after preliminary screening to remove coarse particles and primary
sedimentation that settles out suspended solids. These secondary treatment steps are generally
considered environmental biotechnologies that harness natural self-purification processes
contained in bioreactors for the biodegradation of organic matter and bioconversion of soluble
nutrients in the wastewater.

Application Specific Microbiology

Each wastewater stream is unique, and so too are the community of microorganisms that process it.
This "application-specific microbiology" is the preferred methodology in wastewater treatment
affecting the efficiency of biological nutrient removal. The right laboratory-prepared bugs are more
efficient in organics removal-if they have the right growth environment. This efficiency is multiplied if
microorganisms are allowed to grow as a layer-a biofilm-on specifically designed support media. In
this way, optimized biological processing of a waste stream can occur. To reduce the start up phase
for growing a mature biofilm one can also purchase "application specific bacterial cultures" from
appropriate microbiology vendors.

Bacteria are one of the most ancient of living things
and scientists believe they have been on this planet
for nearly 4,000 million years. During this time they
have acquired lots of fascinating and different ways
of living. They also come in a variety of shapes. The
simplest shape is a round sphere or ball. Bacteria
formed like this are called cocci (singular coccus).
The next simplest shape is cylindrical. Cylindrical
bacteria are called rods (singular rod). Some bacteria
are basically rods but instead of being straight they
are twisted or bent or curved, sometimes in a spiral -
these bacteria are called spirilla (singular spirillum).
Spirochaetes are tightly coiled up bacteria.

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Cocci Rods Ovoids Spira

Curved Rods Curved Rods Spirochaetes Filamentous

Bacteria are friendly creatures, you never find one bacteria on its
own. They tend to live together in clumps, chains or planes. When
they live in chains, one after the other, they are called filamentous
bacteria - these often have long thin cells. When they tend to collect
in a plane or a thin layer over the surface of an object they are called
a biofilm. Many bacteria exist as a biofilm and the study of biofilms is
very important. Biofilm bacteria secrete sticky substances that form a sort of gel in which they
live. The plaque on your teeth that causes tooth decay is a biofilm.
Filamentous Bacteria
Filamentous Bacteria are a type of bacteria that can be found in a wastewater treatment system.
They function similar to floc forming bacteria in that
they degrade BOD quite well. In small amounts, they
are quite good to a biomass. They can add stability
and a backbone to the floc structure that keeps the
floc from breaking up or shearing due to turbulence
from pumps, aeration or transfer of the water.

In large amounts they can cause many problems.

Filaments are bacteria and fungi that grow in long
thread-like strands or colonies.

Site Specific Bacteria

Aeration and biofilm building are the key operational
parameters that contribute to the efficient degradation
of organic matter (BOD/COD removal). Over time the application specific bacteria become site
specific as the biofilm develops and matures and is even more efficient in treating that site-specific
waste stream.

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Facultative Bacteria
Most of the bacteria that absorb the organic material in a wastewater treatment system are
facultative in nature. This means they are adaptable to survive and multiply in either anaerobic or
aerobic conditions. The nature of individual bacteria is dependent upon the environment in which
they live. Usually, facultative bacteria will be anaerobic unless there is some type of mechanical or
biochemical process used to add oxygen to the wastewater. When bacteria are in the process of
being transferred from one environment to the other, the metamorphosis from anaerobic to aerobic
state (and vice versa) takes place within a couple of hours.

Anaerobic Bacteria
Anaerobic bacteria live and reproduce in the absence of free oxygen. They utilize compounds such
as sulfates and nitrates for energy and their metabolism is substantially reduced. In order to remove
a given amount of organic material in an anaerobic treatment system, the organic material must be
exposed to a significantly higher quantity of bacteria and/or detained for a much longer period of
time. A typical use for anaerobic bacteria would be in a septic tank. The slower metabolism of the
anaerobic bacteria dictates that the wastewater be held several days in order to achieve even a
nominal 50% reduction in organic material. That is why septic tanks are always followed by some
type of effluent treatment and disposal process. The advantage of using the anaerobic process is
that electromechanical equipment is not required. Anaerobic bacteria release hydrogen sulfide as
well as methane gas, both of which can create hazardous conditions. Even as the anaerobic action
begins in the collection lines of a sewer system, deadly hydrogen sulfide or explosive methane gas
can accumulate and be life threatening.

Aerobic Bacteria
Aerobic bacteria live and multiply in the presence of free oxygen. Facultative bacteria always
achieve an aerobic state when oxygen is present. While the name "aerobic" implies breathing air,
dissolved oxygen is the primary source of energy for aerobic bacteria. The metabolism of aerobes is
much higher than for anaerobes. This increase means that 90% fewer organisms are needed
compared to the anaerobic process, or that treatment is accomplished in 90% less time. This
provides a number of advantages including a higher percentage of organic removal. The by-
products of aerobic bacteria are carbon dioxide and water. Aerobic bacteria live in colonial
structures called floc and are kept in suspension by the mechanical action used to introduce oxygen
into the wastewater. This mechanical action exposes the floc to the organic material while treatment
takes place. Following digestion, a gravity clarifier separates and settles out the floc. Because of the
mechanical nature of the aerobic digestion process, maintenance and operator oversight are

Activated Sludge
Aerobic floc in a healthy state are referred to as activated sludge. While aerobic floc has a
metabolic rate approximately ten times higher than anaerobic sludge, it can be increased even
further by exposing the bacteria to an abundance of oxygen. Compared to a septic tank, which
takes several days to reduce the organic material, an activated sludge tank can reduce the same
amount of organic material in approximately 4-6 hours. This allows a much higher degree of overall
process efficiency. In most cases treatment efficiencies and removal levels are so much improved
that additional downstream treatment components are dramatically reduced or totally eliminated.

Filamentous Organisms
The majority of filamentous organisms are bacteria, although some of them are classified as algae,
fungi or other life forms. There are a number of types of filamentous bacteria which proliferate in the
activated sludge process. Filamentous organisms perform several different roles in the process,
some of which are beneficial and some of which are detrimental. When filamentous organisms are
in low concentrations in the process, they serve to strengthen the floc particles. This effect reduces
the amount of shearing in the mechanical action of the aeration tank and allows the floc particles to
increase in size.

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Larger floc particles are more readily settled in a clarifier. Larger floc particles settling in the clarifier
also tend to accumulate smaller particulates (surface adsorption) as they settle, producing an even
higher quality effluent. Conversely, if the filamentous organisms reach too high a concentration,
they can extend dramatically from the floc particles and tie one floc particle to another (interfloc
bridging) or even form a filamentous mat of extra large size. Due to the increased surface area
without a corresponding increase in mass, the activated sludge will not settle well. This results in
less solids separation and may cause a washout of solid material from the system. In addition, air
bubbles can become trapped in the mat and cause it to float, resulting in a floating scum mat. Due
to the high surface area of the filamentous bacteria, once they reach an excess concentration, they
can absorb a higher percentage of the organic material and inhibit the growth of more desirable

Protozoans and Metazoans

In a wastewater treatment system, the next higher life form above bacteria is protozoans. These
single-celled animals perform three significant roles in the activated sludge process. These include
floc formation, cropping of bacteria and the removal of suspended material. Protozoans are also
indicators of biomass health and effluent quality. Because protozoans are much larger in size than
individual bacteria, identification and characterization is readily performed. Metazoans are very
similar to protozoans except that they are usually multi-celled animals. Macroinvertebrates such as
nematodes and rotifers are typically found only in a well developed biomass. The presence of
protozoans and metazoans and the relative abundance of certain species can be a predictor of
operational changes within a treatment plant. In this way, an operator is able to make adjustments
and minimize negative operational effects simply by observing changes in the protozoan and
metazoan population.

Dispersed Growth
Dispersed growth is material suspended within the activated sludge process that has not been
adsorbed into the floc particles. This material consists of very small quantities of colloidal (too small
to settle out) bacteria as well as organic and inorganic particulate material. While a small amount of
dispersed growth in between the floc particles is normal, excessive amounts can be carried through
a secondary clarifier. When discharged from the treatment plant, dispersed growth results in higher
effluent solids.

Taxonomy is the science of categorizing life forms according to their characteristics. Eighteen
different categories are used to define life forms from the broadest down to the most specific. They
are: Kingdom, Phylum, Subphylum, Superclass, Class, Subclass, Cohort, Superorder, Order,
Suborder, Superfamily, Family, Subfamily, Tribe, Genus, Subgenus, Species and Subspecies.
Identifying the genus is usually specific enough to determine the role of the organisms found in a
wastewater treatment system.

Process Indicators
Following taxonomic identification, enumeration and evaluation of the characteristics of the various
organisms and structures present in a wastewater sample, the information can be used to draw
conclusions regarding the treatment process.

Numerous industry references, such as WASTEWATER BIOLOGY: THE MICROLIFE by the Water
Environment Federation, can be used to provide a comprehensive indication of the conditions within
a treatment process. As an example, within most activated sludge processes, the shape of the floc
particles can indicate certain environmental or operational conditions. A spherical floc particle
indicates immature floc, as would be found during start-up or a process recovery. A mature floc
particle of irregular shape indicates the presence of a beneficial quantity of filamentous organisms
and good quality effluent. An excess of dispersed growth could indicate a very young sludge, the

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presence of toxic material, excess mechanical aeration or an extended period of time at low
dissolved oxygen levels.

Certain protozoans, such as amoebae and flagellates dominate during a system start-up. Free
swimming ciliates are indicative of a sludge of intermediate health and an effluent of acceptable or
satisfactory quality. A predominance of crawling ciliates, stalked ciliates and metazoans is an
indicator of sludge with excellent health and an effluent of high quality.

Filamentous Bacteria

Filamentous Bacteria have Positive aspects:

They are very good BOD removers
They add a backbone or rigid support network to the floc structure
Helps the floc structure to filter out fine particulate matter that will improve clarifier efficiency.
They help the floc to settle if in small amounts.
They reduce the amount of "pin" floc.

Filamentous Bacteria have Negative aspects:

They can interfere with separation and compaction of activated sludge and cause bulking when

They can affect the sludge volume index (SVI)

They can cause poor settling if dominant.
They can fill up a clarifier and make it hard to settle, causing TSS carryover
They can increase polymer consumption
They can increase solids production and cause solids handling costs to increase significantly

Filamentous Identification
Filamentous Identification should be used as a tool to monitor the health of the biomass when a
filament problem is suspected. Filamentous Identification is used to determine the type of filaments
present so that a cause can be found and corrections can be made to the system to alleviate future
problems. All filamentous bacteria usually have a process control variation associated with the type
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of filament present that can be implemented to change the environment present and select out for
floc forming bacteria instead.

Killing the filaments with chlorine or peroxide will temporarily remove the filaments, but technically it
is a band-aid. A process change must be made or the filaments will return with time eventually. Find
out what filaments are present, find out the cause associated with them and make a process
change for a lasting fix to the problems.

Here are most of the major filaments:

Filaments, their causes and suggested controls

Low DO Filaments Control
Type 1701 Adjust the aeration rates or
S. natans F/M (based on aeration solids)
Type 021N Long RAS lines or sludge held too long
Thiothrix I & II in the clarifier can sometimes cause the
H. hydrossis growth of low DO filaments even if the aeration
N. limicola basin has sufficient DO.
Type 1863

Some filaments have more than one version of the filament species, with slightly different
characteristics for identification.
N. Limicola I
N. Limicola II
N. Limicola III
Thiothrix I
Thiothrix II

Filamentous Identification
Filaments can be internally or externally and they can be free of the floc structures or found
intertwined in the floc. Most labs think that filaments need to be extending from the floc in order to
be a problem. That is not true. Internal filaments can cause more problems than external filaments.
Think of internal filaments causing a structure like a sponge. It will retain water easily and be harder
to dewater, will be hard to compress and will take up more space, thereby increasing solids
handling costs.

Filaments present in the system do not always have to mean a problem. Some filaments are good if
they form a strong backbone and add a rigid network to the floc. They help give the floc more
structure and settle faster. Filaments are good BOD degraders also. They are only a problem when
they become dominant. If filament abundance is in the abundant or excessive range, having a
Filamentous Identification performed is recommended.

When Gram and Neisser stains are performed for filamentous Identification, the types of filaments
found present will be noted on the Floc Characterization sheet to the right of the filament section
and will be noted on the Cover Sheet. A Filament Causes sheet, Filamentous Predominance sheet
and corrective actions will be given and included also with the report. A Filamentous Worksheet will
be included. Individual sheets on the actual filaments present in the sample will be included with
more information on that particular filament.

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Other Wastewater Treatment Components
Biochemical Oxygen Demand
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD or BOD5) is an indirect measure of biodegradable organic compounds in
water, and is determined by measuring the dissolved oxygen decrease in a controlled water sample over a
five-day period.

During this five-day period, aerobic (oxygen-consuming) bacteria decompose organic matter in the sample
and consume dissolved oxygen in proportion to the amount of organic material that is present. In general, a
high BOD reflects high concentrations of substances that can be biologically degraded, thereby consuming
oxygen and potentially resulting in low dissolved oxygen in the receiving water.

The BOD test was developed for samples dominated by oxygen-demanding pollutants like sewage. While its
merit as a pollution parameter continues to be debated, BOD has the advantage of a long period of record.

Nutrients are chemical elements or compounds essential for plant and animal growth. Nutrient parameters
include ammonia, organic nitrogen, Kjeldahl nitrogen, nitrate nitrogen (for water only) and total phosphorus.
High amounts of nutrients have been associated with eutrophication, or overfertilization of a water body, while
low levels of nutrients can reduce plant growth and (for example) starve higher level organisms that consume

Organic Carbon
Most organic carbon in water occurs as partly degraded plant and animal materials, some of which are
resistant to microbial degradation. Organic carbon is important in the estuarine food web and is incorporated
into the ecosystem by photosynthesis of green plants, then consumed as carbohydrates and other organic
compounds by higher animals. In another process, formerly living tissue containing carbon is decomposed as
detritus by bacteria and other microbes.

Total organic carbon

(TOC) bears a direct relationship with biological and chemical oxygen demand; high levels of TOC can result
from human sources, the high oxygen demand being the main concern.

Priority Pollutants
Priority Pollutants refer to a list of 126 specific pollutants that includes heavy metals and specific organic
chemicals. The priority pollutants are a subset of "toxic pollutants" as defined in the Clean Water Act.

These 126 pollutants were assigned a high priority for development of water quality criteria and effluent
limitation guidelines because they are frequently found in wastewater. Many of the heavy metals, pesticides,
and other chemicals listed below are on the priority pollutant list.

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Heavy Metals (Total and Dissolved)
Heavy metals are elements from a variety of natural and human sources. Some key metals of concern and
their primary sources are listed below:

• Arsenic from fossil fuel combustion and industrial discharges;

• Cadmium from corrosion of alloys and plated surfaces, electroplating wastes, and industrial

• Chromium from corrosion of alloys and plated surfaces, electroplating wastes, exterior paints and
stains, and industrial discharges;

• Copper from corrosion of copper plumbing, anti-fouling paints, and electroplating wastes;

• Lead from leaded gasoline, batteries, and exterior paints and stains;

• Mercury from natural erosion and industrial discharges; and

• Zinc from tires, galvanized metal, and exterior paints and stains.

High levels of mercury, copper, and cadmium have been proven to cause serious environmental and human
health problems in some bays around the world. Some of the sources listed above, such as lead in gasoline
and heavy metals in some paints, are now being phased out by environmental regulations issued in the past
ten years.

Typical pesticides and herbicides include DDT,
Aldrin, Chlordane, Endosulfan, Endrin,
Heptachlor, and Diazinon. Some of the more
persistent compounds including DDT and
dioxin (not a pesticide) are subject to stringent
regulation including outright bans.

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons include a
family of semi-volatile organic pollutants such
as naphthalene, anthracene, pyrene, and

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)

Polychlorinated biphenyls are organic
chemicals that formerly had widespread use in
electrical transformers and hydraulic equipment. This class of chemicals is extremely persistent in the
environment and has been proven to bioconcentrate in the food chain, thereby leading to environmental and
human health concerns in areas such as the Great Lakes.

Because of the potential to accumulate in the food chain, PCBs were intensely regulated and
subsequently prohibited from manufacture by the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) of 1976. Disposal
of PCBs is tightly restricted by TSCA.

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Basic Wastewater Treatment Processes
1. Plant Influent: Waste enters the treatment facility through the municipal sewer system. Raw
wastewater enters the treatment facility at the beginning of the treatment plant, referred to as the
"headworks" of the plant. The wastewater is then pumped to the wastewater treatment facility
using pumps.
Preliminary treatment removes large objects from
the wastewater to help prevent clogging of pipes
and damaging the treatment equipment. The debris
that is removed during preliminary treatment is
typically hauled to a landfill for disposal.

2. Coarse Bar Screen: Metal bars collect large

debris such as rags, wood, plastics, etc.

3. Grit Removal: The wastewater flows through a

channel, allowing dense, inorganic material to settle
on the bottom. Scrapers, hoppers and clam buckets
remove the collected grits.

4. Primary Settling: The wastewater flows into

large settling tanks which allow suspended solids
and organic material to sink to the bottom of this

The raw sludge that settles to the bottom of this tank

is removed through hoppers and sent through the
digestion process.

Head Works Bar Screen↑

Primary Treatment
As sewage enters a plant for treatment, it flows through a screen, which removes large floating objects such
as rags and sticks that might clog pipes or damage equipment. After sewage has been screened, it passes
into a grit chamber, where cinders, sand, and small stones settle to the bottom.

A grit chamber is particularly important in communities with combined sewer systems where sand or gravel
may wash into sewers along with stormwater. After screening is completed and grit has been removed,
sewage still contains organic and inorganic matter along with other suspended solids.

These solids are minute particles that can be removed from

sewage in a sedimentation tank. When the speed of the flow
through one of these tanks is reduced, the suspended solids will
gradually sink to the bottom, where they form a mass of solids
called raw primary biosolids formerly called sludge.

Biosolids are usually removed from tanks by pumping, after which

it may be further treated for use as a fertilizer, or disposed of in a
landfill or incinerated.

←Grit Chamber
Over the years, primary treatment alone has been unable to meet many communities’ demands for higher
water quality. To meet them, cities and industries normally treat to a secondary treatment level, and in some
cases, also use advanced treatment to remove nutrients and other contaminants.

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Processed Sludge that can be applied to farm fields and used as a fertilizer.

5. Phosphorous Removal: Partially treated wastewater is drawn from the top of the settling tanks and in
some treatment facilities, chemicals are added to remove phosphorous.

6. Aeration Basins: Large aeration basins or tanks mix the partially treated wastewater with oxygen to
support bacteria which devour organic waste. The bacteria levels are managed to provide the most efficient
removal process.

Aeration Basins are used in a process referred to as activated sludge. Activated sludge is a biological
process where oxygen is bubbled through the water, providing aeration. The microorganisms or "bugs" are
suspended in the wastewater by the aeration. The mixture is known as "mixed liquor." The bugs breakdown
the wastes to carbon dioxide and water.

The mixed liquor is discharged to the final clarifiers to settle out the microorganisms which are then returned to
the aeration basin. Excess biosolids, which have settled out, are sent to the solids handling processes. Similar
to Primary Clarifiers are Secondary Clarifiers, these slow the speed of the wastewater to allow solids to settle
out of the wastewater.

Clarifiers are used to settle out microorganisms from the activated sludge process. Clarifiers typically have
rotating arms, these are used to remove scum from the surface of the water.

Clarifiers are usually either round or rectangular in shape. The sludge or biosolids are collected at the bottom
of the clarifier and sent to a digester for further treatment.

Primary Sedimentation
With the screening completed and the grit removed, wastewater still contains dissolved organic and
inorganic constituents along with suspended solids. The suspended solids
consist of minute particles of matter that can be removed from the wastewater with further treatment
such as sedimentation or gravity settling, chemical coagulation, or filtration. Pollutants that are
dissolved or are very fine and remain suspended in the wastewater are not removed effectively by
gravity settling.

Secondary Treatment
After the wastewater has been through Primary Treatment processes, it flows into the next stage of
treatment called secondary. Secondary treatment processes can remove up to 90 percent of the
organic matter in wastewater by using biological treatment processes. The two most common
conventional methods used to achieve secondary treatment are attached growth processes and
suspended growth processes.

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Secondary Treatment
The secondary stage of treatment removes about 85 percent of the organic matter in sewage by making use
of the bacteria in it. The principal secondary treatment techniques used in secondary treatment are the
trickling filter and the activated sludge process. After effluent leaves the sedimentation tank in the primary
stage it flows or is pumped to a facility using one or the other of these processes. A trickling filter is simply a
bed of stones from three to six feet deep through which sewage passes. More recently, interlocking pieces of
corrugated plastic or other synthetic media have also been used in trickling beds. Bacteria gather and multiply
on these stones until they can consume most of the organic matter.

The cleaner water trickles out through pipes for further treatment. From a trickling filter, the partially treated
sewage flows to another sedimentation tank to remove excess bacteria. The trend today is towards the use of
the activated sludge process instead of trickling filters. The activated sludge process speeds up the work of the
bacteria by bringing air and sludge heavily laden with bacteria into close contact with sewage.

Anaerobic Digester

After the sewage leaves the settling tank in the primary stage, it is pumped into an aeration tank, where it is
mixed with air and sludge loaded with bacteria and allowed to remain for several hours. During this time, the
bacteria break down the organic matter into harmless by-products. The sludge, now activated with additional
billions of bacteria and other tiny organisms, can be used again by returning it to the aeration tank for mixing
with air and new sewage. From the aeration tank, the partially treated sewage flows to another sedimentation
tank for removal of excess bacteria.

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Attached Growth Processes
In attached growth (or fixed film) processes, the microbial growth occurs on the surface of stone or plastic
media. Wastewater passes over the media along with air to provide oxygen. Attached growth process units
include trickling filters, biotowers, and rotating biological contactors. Attached growth processes are effective
at removing biodegradable organic material from the wastewater. A trickling filter is simply a bed of media
(typically rocks or plastic) through which the wastewater passes.

The media ranges from three to six feet deep and allows large numbers of microorganisms to attach and grow.
Older treatment facilities typically used stones, rocks, or slag as the media bed material. New facilities may
use beds made of plastic balls, interlocking sheets of corrugated plastic, or other types of synthetic media.
This type of bed material often provides more surface area and a better environment for promoting and
controlling biological treatment than rock.

Bacteria, algae, fungi and other microorganisms grow and multiply, forming a microbial growth or slime layer
(biomass) on the media. In the treatment process, the bacteria use oxygen from the air and consume most of
the organic matter in the wastewater as food. As the wastewater passes down through the media, oxygen-
demanding substances are consumed by the biomass and the water leaving the media is much cleaner.
However, portions of the biomass also slough off the media and must settle out in a secondary treatment tank.

Suspended Growth Processes

Similar to the microbial processes in attached growth systems, suspended growth processes are designed to
remove biodegradable organic material and organic nitrogen-containing material by converting ammonia
nitrogen to nitrate unless additional treatment is provided. In suspended growth processes, the microbial
growth is suspended in an aerated water mixture where the air is pumped in, or the water is agitated
sufficiently to allow oxygen transfer. Suspended growth process units include variations of activated sludge,
oxidation ditches and sequencing batch reactors.

The suspended growth process speeds up the work of aerobic bacteria and other microorganisms that break
down the organic matter in the sewage by providing a rich aerobic environment where the microorganisms
suspended in the wastewater can work more efficiently. In the aeration tank, wastewater is vigorously mixed
with air and microorganisms acclimated to the wastewater in a suspension for several hours. This allows the
bacteria and other microorganisms to break down the organic matter in the wastewater. The microorganisms
grow in number and the excess biomass is removed by settling before the effluent is discharged or treated
further. Now activated with millions of additional aerobic bacteria, some of the biomass can be used again by
returning it to an aeration tank for mixing with incoming wastewater. The activated sludge process, like most
other techniques, has advantages and limitations. The units necessary for this treatment are relatively small,
requiring less space than attached growth processes. In addition, when properly operated and maintained, the
process is generally free of flies and odors.

However, most activated sludge processes are more costly to operate than attached growth processes due to
higher energy use to run the aeration system. The effectiveness of the activated sludge process can be
impacted by elevated levels of toxic compounds in wastewater unless complex industrial chemicals are
effectively controlled through an industrial pretreatment program. An adequate supply of oxygen is necessary
for the activated sludge process to be effective. The oxygen is generally supplied by mixing air with the
sewage and biologically active solids in the aeration tanks by one or more of several different methods.
Mechanical aeration can be accomplished by drawing the sewage up from the bottom of the tank and spraying
it over the surface, thus allowing the sewage to absorb large amounts of oxygen from the atmosphere.

Pressurized air can be forced out through small openings in pipes suspended in the wastewater. Combination
of mechanical aeration and forced aeration can also be used. Also, relatively pure oxygen, produced by
several different manufacturing processes, can be added to provide oxygen to the aeration tanks. From the
aeration tank, the treated wastewater flows to a sedimentation tank (secondary clarifier), where the excess
biomass is removed. Some of the biomass is recycled to the head end of the aeration tank, while the
remainder is “wasted” from the system. The waste biomass and settled solids are treated before disposal or
reuse as biosolids.

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Other Treatment Options
New pollution problems have placed additional burdens on wastewater treatment systems. Today’s pollutants,
such as heavy metals, chemical compounds, and toxic substances, are more difficult to remove from water.
Rising demands on the water supply only aggravates the problem.

The increasing need to reuse water calls for better wastewater treatment. These challenges are being met
through better methods of removing pollutants at treatment plants, or through prevention of pollution at the

Pretreatment of industrial waste, for example, removes many troublesome pollutants at the beginning, not the
end, of the pipeline. To return more usable water to receiving lakes and streams, new methods for removing
pollutants are being developed.

Advanced waste treatment techniques in use or under development range from biological treatment
capable of removing nitrogen and phosphorus to physical-chemical separation techniques such filtration,
carbon adsorption, distillation, and reverse osmosis.

These wastewater treatment processes, alone or in combination, can achieve almost any degree of pollution
control desired, Waste effluents purified by such treatment, can be used for industrial, agricultural, or
recreational purposes, or even drinking water supplies.

Fine air diffusers used for aeration

7. Final Settling: The cleanest wastewater is drawn from the top of the aeration tanks through spillways. By
this point the water is already quite clear. Polymers may be added to concentrate any remaining material.
Once again, suspended particles settle to the bottom and are removed by scrapers or hoppers.

8. Disinfection: The cleanest water is drawn from the surface and disinfected with chlorine or ultra-violet light
to kill bacteria.

9. De-chlorination: The treated water is de-chlorinated. The treated water is tested to ensure it meets the
EPA standards and is returned to the original water source. Before the treated water is discharged to the
receiving stream, samples are taken. The samples are then analyzed in a laboratory. An automatic
sampler will automatically take samples at designated times. The samples are then kept refrigerated in the
sampler until the sample can be analyzed in the lab.

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Sludges are generated through the sewage treatment process. Primary sludges, material that settles out
during primary treatment, often have a strong odor and require treatment prior to disposal. Secondary sludges
are the extra microorganisms from the biological treatment processes. The goals of sludge treatment are to
stabilize the sludge and reduce odors, remove some of the water and reduce volume, decompose some of the
organic matter and reduce volume, kill disease causing organisms and disinfect the sludge.

Untreated sludges are about 97 percent water. Settling the sludge and decanting off the separated liquid
removes some of the water and reduces the sludge volume. Settling can result in a sludge with about 96 to 92
percent water. More water can be removed from sludge by using sand drying beds, vacuum filters, filter
presses, and centrifuges resulting in sludges with between 80 to 50 percent water. This dried sludge is called
a sludge cake. Aerobic and anaerobic digestion are used to decompose organic matter to reduce volume.

Digestion also stabilizes the sludge to reduce odors. Caustic chemicals can be added to sludge or it may be
heat treated to kill disease-causing organisms. Following treatment, liquid and cake sludges are usually
spread on fields, returning organic matter and nutrients to the soil.

Wastewater treatment processes require careful management to ensure the protection of the water body that
receives the discharge. Trained and certified treatment plant operators measure and monitor the incoming
sewage, the treatment process and the final effluent.

10. Sludge Digestion: Sludge from the final settling tanks is drawn from the bottom of the tanks and pumped
to the primary settling tank. Not only does this sludge have a high water content, but it also contains oxygen
and bacteria which improve the efficiency of the treatment process. The gravity belt thickener is one way to
reduce the amount of water in the biosolids before further treatment. The volume reduction is occurring from
the loss of water. Thickening of the biosolids improves digester operation and reduces the cost of sludge
digestion. Aerobic sludge digestion produces a sludge that has higher water content.

Heat reduces the capacity of water to retain oxygen. In some areas, water used for cooling is discharged to
streams at elevated temperatures from power plants and industries. Even discharges from wastewater
treatment plants and storm water retention ponds affected by summer heat can be released at temperatures
above that of the receiving water, and elevate the stream temperature. Unchecked discharges of waste heat
can seriously alter the ecology of a lake, a stream, or estuary.

The following are suggested control methods:

Feeding of raw sludge to an anaerobic digester should be done when the solids content of the sludge
is <3.5%.

Aeration or high turbulence of wastewater will cause hydrogen sulfide to be stripped or carried out by
the air.

An air supply valve improperly adjusted could be a cause of dead spots in aeration tanks.

Anaerobic sludge digestion produces liquids that may be difficult to treat when returned to the plant.

The Elutriation process is used to reduce the sludge alkalinity.

If a primary sludge is allowed to go septic, H2S, CO2 and CH4 gases will be produced.

If septic sludge is put into a gravity sludge thickener it will reduce efficiency and lower solids

In gravity thickening of wastewater sludge, gravity forces are used to separate solids from the sludge
being treated. Secondary sludge's are not well suited for gravity thickening because it contains Bound
water. One factor that would allow for greater volumes of water to drain from the sludge in a belt filter
press is to increase the belt speed.

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Sludge floating to the surface of a secondary clarifier could be resolved by increasing MCRT to
greater than 6 days.

The drying time and the time required to remove sludge information should be used by operators to
determine the optimum depth to apply sludge on a sand drying bed.

The following are typical loading guidelines for activated sludge: High-rate: COD >1, BOD >.5,
Conventional: COD 0.5 to 1.0, BOD 0.25 to 0.5, Extended aeration: COD <0.2 lbs, BOD <.10 lbs.

The purpose of a Venturi-type restriction on a belt filter press is to provide turbulence to mix polymer
with the flow.

When lime is mixed with sludge to improve dewatering the pH should be around11.5 to 12.0.

When making changes to correct a problem in an activated sludge package plant, it might take at
least 3 or more days before the correction shows.

11. Primary Digest: Sludge removed throughout the process is pumped to digesters for processing.
Anaerobic bacteria consume organic waste in the digesters. This process produces gases which can be used
to fuel plant boilers and heat facilities.

Final Clarifiers are also used to settle out microorganisms, or "bugs," from the activated sludge process.
Clarifiers are usually either round or rectangular in shape. Once the wastewater leaves the final clarifier, it is
typically disinfected, to remove any bacteria. The solids are sent to a solids handling system, such as a solids

Additional Control Methods and Information.

The method for preserving a Sulfide sample is to add 2 mL 1 M zinc acetate & 1 N NaOH to pH >9
and store at 4°C.

According to the Water Quality Criteria for effluent, the suggested limit of Nitrite and Nitrate as N for
livestock and wildlife is 10 mg/L.

Bacteria is produce by binary fission which is called the generation time. The E. coli bacteria is found
in the intestinal tract of humans and warm-blooded animals. The generation time of this bacteria in a
broth medium is about 17 minutes.

Changing conditions or abnormal conditions can upset the microorganisms in the activated sludge
process. If the sludge is bulking in the clarifier you probably have low DO concentration.

Coliform bacteria, originating from the intestines of warm-blooded animals, are tested for in
wastewater because they can be indication of the presence of disease-producing organisms that can
be associated with them. The Membrane filter method test method is approved by NPDES to
determine Total Coliform analysis.

During the Contact stabilization process it is recommended that the sample used for microscopic
observations be taken at the end of the zone.

Hydrogen peroxide has been used as an oxidant to control odors. Inability to treat ammonia is one the
disadvantages of using hydrogen peroxide.

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Digester Review Statements
An operator can correct excessive foam in an aerobic digester when the DO is high, pH is 7, and the O2 uptake
is stable by lowering the air intake to reduce turbulence. Sodium Hydroxide is not beneficial to the digestion

The efficient cleaning of a digester demands that operators follow appropriate safety rules.

You can determine the organic loading on a digester by measuring the volatile solids loading per cubic
foot per day.

Protozoa can be called "indicator organisms." Their presence or absence indicates the amount of bacteria in
the activated sludge and the degree of treatment. The following are part of the protozoa family: Mastigophora,
Amoeba and Suctoria.

Sulfide can exist in wastewater in three forms depending on the pH: S²- ion, HS- ion, or H2S gas. At the ideal
temperature, S2 ion, 90% would form at a pH of 14?

Chlorine and Disinfection

To complete secondary treatment, effluent from the sedimentation tank is usually disinfected with chlorine
before being discharged into receiving waters. Chlorine is fed into the water to kill pathogenic bacteria, and to
reduce odor. Done properly, chlorination will kill more than 99 percent of the harmful bacteria in an effluent.
Some municipalities now manufacture chlorine solution on site to avoid transporting and storing large amounts
of chlorine, sometimes in a gaseous form. Federal law now requires the removal of excess chlorine before
discharge to surface waters by a process called dechlorination. Alternatives to chlorine disinfection, such as
ultraviolet light or ozone, are also being used in situations where chlorine in treated sewage effluents may be
harmful to fish and other aquatic life.

The most important use of chlorine in the treatment of wastewater is for disinfection. When chlorine reacts
quickly and completely with ammonia in wastewater, Monochloramines is produced.

A regular program of scheduled preventive maintenance is essential to keep a chlorinator functioning properly.

If the operator notices that the chlorinator will not feed chlorine, the first thing an operator should check is the
chlorine supply gages.

Chlorine residual samples should be taken daily from the effluent of a pond.

During the night shift, the operator notes that the chlorine residual analyzer recorder controller is not
maintaining the chlorine residual properly. The electrodes may be fouled and should be cleaned and are
the most probable cause of the problem.

During your inspection of the chlorine feed system, you find that there is no chlorine gas pressure at the
chlorinator. You check and find the chlorine cylinder is full and the valve is open. You may have a plugged
or damaged pressure-reducing valve.

In order to meet NPDES permit coliform requirements, 4.5 mg/L is the required chlorine residual at the
outlet of the chlorine contact basin.

NH3 + Cl2 = NH2Cl +CHl, NH2Cl+Cl2 = NHCl2 + HCl, NHCl2 +Cl2 = NCl 3+ HCl and Monochloramine, NH2Cl
all of these represent the reaction of ammonia with chlorine.

Procedures and equipment for operating and maintaining chlorination and sulfonation systems are very
similar but you should be aware of the differences. Sulfur dioxide gas pressures are lower than chlorine
gas pressure at the same temperature.

Wastewater facilities may be required to provide chlorination services for the following activities:
Disinfection of effluent, Process control of activated sludge and Seasonal odor control.

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If the operator determines that the Coliform count fails to meet required standards for disinfection. The
operator checks the contact time and finds that short-circuiting has occurred in the contact chamber.
Installing baffling in the contact chamber could correct this problem.

The presence or absence of oxygen establishes whether hydrogen sulfide will exist. If more than 1.0 mg/L of
oxygen is present. It will oxidize to form thiosulfate. The scale of a spectrophotometer is generally graduated
two ways. If Units of Absorbance are used, a logarithmic scale of non-equal divisions is graduated from 0.0 -
2.0. The volatile solids test measures the amount of organic material when it is performed on solids.

Wastewater is relatively rich in phosphorus compounds. The forms of phosphorus found in wastewater are
commonly classified into three categories. Orthophosphate measures the amount of inorganic phosphorus
in the sample of wastewater as measured by the direct colormetric analysis procedure.

Dewatering Process
Vacuum filter or centrifuge systems remove water from the processed sludge to thicken it. The water removed
in the process is pumped to the primary settling tank to reenter the treatment process.

Depending on NPDES Permit, the concentrated sludge, or bio-solid waste is taken away for incineration or
conversion into fertilizer.

The end product of anaerobic digestion is a biologically stable substance that has nutrient and soil-enhancing
properties, referred to as Biosolids. Biosolids are typically stored until the material can be land applied or
disposed of in a landfill. Much of the biosolids produced is applied to farmland. Biosolids contain many of the
same nutrients as commercial fertilizers, including valuable organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium,
magnesium, and micronutrients, such as zinc and iron.

While not a complete replacement for chemical fertilizers in terms of nutrient ratios, biosolids do some things
that chemical fertilizers can’t do. They are composed of organic matter that promotes necessary bacterial
activity and improves the structure, texture, and water retention characteristics of the soil. These properties
stimulate growth of vegetation, which helps reduce soil erosion and improve crop yields. Biosolids also provide
trace metals and nutrients that commercial fertilizers do not have.

Hauling Dried Sludge to farm fields for disposal

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Normal wastewater treatment testing equipment found in an Operator’s Lab.
pH, ORP and Temperature measuring equipment.

COD Reactor

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Tertiary Treatment
Tertiary treatment is normally applied in WWTP with extremely high demands on phosphorus
removal. After the secondary clarifier the coagulant is added, precipitating phosphorus which is
removed in a tertiary sedimentation tank or a sand filter. The main objective of the tertiary
treatments is the removal of dissolved nitrogen and phosphorous compounds of the purification
plant effluent, with the aim to limit their eutrophying effect in the receiver water body. Also the
phytodepuration treatments can be considered tertiary treatments. There can also be a final
disinfecting treatment, when the receiver water body is intended for a use requiring a particular
hygienic-sanitary safeguard (ex. bathing).

The Tertiary Filtration stage consists of a physical process of the filtration of the overflow from the
Secondary Clarification process through a bed of sand. This is accomplished using the newly
constructed Traveling Bridge Filters or the previously existing Rapid Sand Filters. Under normal
operating conditions the Traveling Bridge Filters are utilized due to their increased efficiency over
the Rapid Sand Filters which are then used as backup units. Both units operate using the same
process of filtration through a bed of sand, however, the Traveling Bridge Filters utilize a bridge
which backwashes (cleans) the filter as it travels down its length. This minimizes the percentage of
the filter unused when the filter is being backwashed. In comparison, the Rapid Sand Filters consist
of three cells which lose an entire cell with each backwash. The filtered wastewater then passes on
to the Disinfection stage.

Nitrogen Removal
Nitrogen is found in domestic wastewater mostly in the form of ammonia and organic nitrogen. Its
removal is a process of biological nature and occurs in two phases.
1. in the first phase called nitrification the ammonia is oxidized to nitrate, thanks to a series of
bacteria mediated reactions: NH3, NO2-, NO3-. In this phase the Nitrosomonas oxidize the
ammonia to nitrite and the nitrifying bacteria oxidize the nitrite to nitrate.
2. In the second phase the nitrates are denitrified to molecular nitrogen by means of two
different genus of bacteria (Pseudomonas, Bacillus) using the nitrates as oxidizing
compound in place of oxygen.
The first phase has to occur in an aerobic environment, and a tank similar to which is used for
active sludge is used, while the second phase has to occur in anoxic environment in such a way
that the bacteria use the nitrate instead of oxygen, as electron acceptor.

There are also physical/chemical processes which can remove nitrogen, especially ammonia; they
are not as economical for domestic wastewater, but might be suited for an industrial location where
no other biological processes are in use. (These methods include alkaline air stripping, ion
exchange, and "breakpoint" chlorination.)

Phosphorus Removal
Phosphorous removal is most commonly done by chemical precipitation with iron or aluminum
compounds, such as ferric chloride or alum (aluminum sulfate). The solids which are produced can
be settled along with other sludges, depending on where in the treatment train the process takes
place. "Lime", or calcium hydroxide, also works, but makes the water very alkaline, which has to be
corrected, and produces more sludge. There is also a biological process for phosphorus removal,
which depends on designing an activated sludge system in such a way as to promote the
development of certain types of bacteria which have the ability to accumulate excess phosphorus
within their cells. The basic principle of the phosphorous biological removal systems contemplates a
depurative unit where it alternates an anaerobic condition and an aerobic one, inducing a high
phosphorous intake by the bacteria. These methods mainly convert dissolved phosphorus into
particulate form. For treatment plants which are required to discharge only very low concentrations
of total phosphorus, it is common to have a sand filter as a final stage, to remove most of the
suspended solids which may contain phosphorus.

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Covered basin for odor control Duckweed


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Trickling Filter
A trickling filter provides aerobic treatment of the wastewater. The wastewater is generally pumped
from a compartment of the septic tank, dispersed over a media bed, and allowed to drain back into
the tank. The wastewater is aerated as it flows over the media.

A Trickling Filter consists of a rotating arm that

sprays wastewater over a filter medium. The filter
medium can consist of rocks, plastic, or other
material. The filter material is coarse, allowing air to
flow through the media. This process does not
actually filter material out, however. Bacteria grow
on the filter material. The bacteria then absorb and
consume the waste as it trickles through the filter,
improving the quality of the wastewater.

The water is collected at the bottom of the filter for

further treatment. Excessive sloughing or biological
growth on a trickling filter is an indication of filter

The following are recommendations for preventing odors in a trickling filter: Maintain aerobic
conditions in the sewer system, use of masking agents and check and clear filter ventilation.
The following solution will help prevent trickling filters from freezing: Decrease the

More on Digesters
Aerobic Treatment Units
Aerobic treatment units use a biological process to transform dissolved and solid pollutants into
gases, cell mass, and nongradable material (EPA Manual). The treatment process occurs in a
mixed state with a variety of microorganisms living together that can decompose a broad range of
materials. The organisms live in an aerobic environment where free oxygen is available for the
organism respiration. It is important to maintain an active population of microbes to carry out the
breakdown of the solids.

Anaerobic Digestion
Anaerobic digestion is the biological degradation of organic matter in an oxygen free atmosphere.
Anaerobic digestion converts the biosolids into carbon dioxide, methane, hydrogen sulfide, other
gases, and water. What is left behind is a biologically stable residue, referred to as biosolids.
Typically, the biosolids are reused as a soil amendment. The biosolids are rich in nutrients and
provide a good alternative to fertilizer.

More on Tertiary Filtration

Sand Filters
Sand filters mean a biological and physical wastewater treatment component consisting of an
under drained bed of sand to which pre-treated effluent is periodically applied. A sand filter
purifies the water through three main mechanisms: filtration, chemical sorption, and

Wetland Systems
Wetland systems are used to remove biological materials, suspended solids, nutrients, and
pathogens from the wastewater. The constructed wetland wastewater treatment system consists of
three components: septic tank, constructed wetland, and land application system. The wetland
needs to have a sufficient cross sectional area to accept the water flow entering the wetland.
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Basic Wastewater Flow Patterns

Chromium Reduction Procedure

Since Hexavalent Chromium cannot form an insoluble hydroxide, the chromium in segregated
waste streams must be reduced to the trivalent state before it can precipitated as Chromium
Hydroxide by the addition of alkali. Common reducing agents are Sulfur Dioxide gas and
Sodium Metabisulfite, with other alternatives available.

Basic Equipment Includes:

• a reaction tank,

• mixer,

• chemical feed system,

• oxidation reduction potential (ORP) meter/controller,

• pH meter/controller,

• transfer pumps, and

• level controls.

Sulfur dioxide is more often used at large treatment plants due to its lower cost, but it does require
both an expensive chemical feed system and a ventilation system.

The reduction process is operated between a pH of 2 and 3. Acid added to maintain this pH
increases the need for alkali reagent addition during the metal removal step that follows.
Conventional chromium reduction processes produce an effluent with less that 0.1 mg/l Hexavalent

Sacrificial iron anode and ferrous sulfate are two alternative methods to conventional sulfur
compound reduction. The sacrificial iron anode method can reduce chromium at a neutral pH but
generates more sludge due to a co-precipitation effect. Ferrous sulfate - a waste product from steel
pickling - can be used in an acid environment, but also produces a considerable increase in sludge

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Cyanide Oxidation (Cyanide Destruction)
Segregated cyanide-bearing waste streams are oxidized using alkaline chlorination to convert toxic
cyanides to harmless carbon and nitrogen compounds. A properly operated process can reduce
cyanide concentrations to less than 1.0 mg/l. Free dissolved hydrogen cyanide is easily oxidized by
this process. Stable cyanide complexes, such as ferrocyanides or ferricyanides are unaffected by
chlorination. Copper, Nickel, and precious metal complexes can also be oxidized, but at slower
rates than free cyanide. Because of the potential for violent reactions between hypochlorite and
concentrated cyanide wastes, batch treatment by electrolytic oxidation and thermal destruction is
There are usually two stages for the chlorination process, although a one step process is feasible if
monitored properly. In the first stage, sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) is added to the wastewater
either as a direct addition or as chlorine gas and sodium hydroxide. The gas addition is about half
as expensive as direct NaOCl addition, but requires special handling equipment. In the first stage,
the NaOCl oxidizes the Cyanide to Cyanate at a pH of 10 or more. Retention time can be up to 60
minutes. In the second stage, additional NaOCl is added to oxidize the remaining cyanide to carbon
dioxide and nitrogen at a pH of 8.5. Second stage retention time is 30 to 60 minutes.

Alternatives to chlorination include: ozone oxidation, alternative chemistries (Hydrogen Peroxide

and Calcium Hypochlorite), electrochemical oxidation, thermal oxidation, and precipitation.

Metals Removal
Hydroxide precipitation is the standard method used to remove heavy metals from metal
finishing shop wastewater. The process consists of pretreatment, precipitation, flocculation, and

Metal removal pretreatment is conducted to deal with compounds that are either resistant to the
precipitation process or interfere with it. Chemicals used for pretreatment include Ferrous or
Aluminum Sulfate, Sodium Hydrosulfite, Soda Ash and Sodium Dithiocarbamate (DTC).
Pretreatment can sometimes be combined with precipitation and the combined process referred to
as "co-treatment."

In precipitation, soluble metals are converted to insoluble metal hydroxides by adding caustic soda
or lime. Other alkali - including magnesium hydroxide, calcium chloride, sodium carbonate, and
sodium bicarbonate - can be added alone or in combination. The pH is initially adjusted to between
8.5 and 10.0. Batch residence time is usually 15 to 30 minutes. The pH set-point is determined by
the species of metal being precipitated, since each metal hydroxide has its own characteristic
solubility and some are amphoteric (solubility minimum occurs at a specific pH and increases
sharply at higher or lower pH).

A compromise must be made establishing the set-point for wastewater containing multiple metal
hydroxides. After precipitation, the level of residual dissolved solids depends on:
• the pH set-point,
• the metal species present mixture in the wastewater, and
• the concentration of interfering compounds.
Flocculation is accomplished by adding chemicals to form aggregates that are easily separated in a
clarifier. Inorganic chemicals, such as alum and ferrous sulfate, can be used as well as polymer-
type flocculants. The polymers take on the charge density and valence of the metal hydroxides and
their structural length allows particles to aggregate together.

Clarification is the removal of insoluble particles by gravity settling. Blanket and plate type settlers
are the most successful. The blanket type relies on mixing in a sludge blanket to promote particle
growth and reduce the concentration of fine particles.

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The plate settler has a series of inclined plates, between which the water flows. Insoluble particles
impinge on the plate surface and slide down to the base of the separator. A clarifier in good
operation will have from 5 - 50 mg/l of suspended solids in the overflow.

If the overflow is cloudy or contains suspended solids in excess of 50 mg/l, a polishing filter may be

Alternatives to clarifiers for removing metal hydroxides after precipitation are:

• Direct filtration,
• Dissolved air flotation, and
• Membrane filtration.
The dilute sludge generated from the precipitation/clarification process contains between 0.5 and
3% solids and must be dewatered. Thickening equipment can increase solids content to between 2
and 5 %, reducing the volume of sludge. This volume reduction decreases the capital and operating
costs for subsequent sludge processing steps.

Sludge is further dewatered by using a mechanical devices or by thermal dehydration. The filter
press is the most popular type among the mechanical devices. The mechanical devices can
produce a sludge with 10 to 60% solids and thermal dehydration can produce a waste material
up to 90% solids.

Dehydration units have been the

most frequently purchased devices
for pollution prevention in recent
years. The sludge generated from
conventional treatment is classified
as hazardous waste and must be
dealt with under RCRA guidelines.

Effluent Polishing

Sand polish filters are used for

removal of solids. Sand is layered in
the filtration tank according to size
with the fine particles at the top.
Older filter designs use only the top
Filter cake from filter press contains 10% - 60% solids. few inches of sand as the fluid flows
Sludge dryers can increase solids content to 90%. downward and the filtered solids
form a mat on the surface. Newer
designs allow upward feed flow and
continuous backwash.

Sand filters perform well, providing the optimum turnover rate has been established. Frequent
backwashing is necessary to maintain the desired turnover rate since the surface area is smaller
than with other pre-coated backwash filters.


Berg, J. 1995. Filtration and Purification of Plating and Related Solutions and Effluents. In Metal
Finishing: 63rd Guidebook and Directory Issue. ed. M. Murphy, 643-663. New York: Elsevier
Science, Inc.
Cushnie Jr., G. Pollution Prevention and Control Technology for Plating Operations. Ann Arbor, MI.
1994. Information available on NMFRC.

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Top picture, Effluent from secondary clarifiers.
Bottom picture, Denitrification in a secondary clarifier.

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Lab tech removing filter for TSS analysis

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Chapter 1 Highlights
Physical Wastewater Treatment Process
Physical processes were some of the earliest methods to remove solids from wastewater, usually
by passing wastewater through screens to remove debris and solids. In addition, solids that are
heavier than water will settle out from wastewater by gravity. Particles with entrapped air float to the
top of water and can also be removed. These physical processes are employed in many modern
wastewater treatment facilities today.

Biological In nature, bacteria and other small organisms in water consume organic matter in
sewage, turning it into new bacterial cells, carbon dioxide, and other by-products. The bacteria
normally present in water must have oxygen to do their part in breaking down the sewage. In the
1920s, scientists observed that these natural processes could be contained and accelerated in
systems to remove organic material from wastewater. With the addition of oxygen to wastewater,
masses of microorganisms grew and rapidly metabolized organic pollutants. Any excess
microbiological growth could be removed from the wastewater by physical processes.

Chemicals can be used to create changes in pollutants that increase the removal of these new
forms by physical processes. Simple chemicals such as alum, lime or iron salts can be added to
wastewater to cause certain pollutants, such as phosphorus, to floc or bunch together into large,
heavier masses which can be removed faster through physical processes. Over the past 30 years,
the chemical industry has developed synthetic inert chemicals know as polymers to further improve
the physical separation step in wastewater treatment. Polymers are often used at the later stages of
treatment to improve the settling of excess microbiological growth or biosolids.

Oxygen-Demanding Substances
Dissolved oxygen is a key element in water quality that is necessary to support aquatic life. A
demand is placed on the natural supply of dissolved oxygen by many pollutants in wastewater. This
is called biochemical oxygen demand, or BOD, and is used to measure how well a sewage
treatment plant is working. If the effluent, the treated wastewater produced by a treatment plant, has
a high content of organic pollutants or ammonia, it will demand more oxygen from the water and
leave the water with less oxygen to support fish and other aquatic life.

Organic matter and ammonia are “oxygen-demanding” substances. Oxygen-demanding substances

are contributed by domestic sewage and agricultural and industrial wastes of both plant and animal
origin, such as those from food processing, paper mills, tanning, and other manufacturing
processes. These substances are usually destroyed or converted to other compounds by bacteria if
there is sufficient oxygen present in the water, but the dissolved oxygen needed to sustain fish life
is used up in this break down process.

Grit Chamber
After the wastewater has been screened, it may flow into a grit chamber where sand, grit, cinders,
and small stones settle to the bottom. Removing the grit and gravel that washes off streets or land
during storms is very important, especially in cities with combined sewer systems. Large amounts of
grit and sand entering a treatment plant can cause serious operating problems, such as excessive
wear of pumps and other equipment, clogging of aeration devices, or taking up capacity in tanks
that is needed for treatment. In some plants, another finer screen is placed after the grit chamber to
remove any additional material that might damage equipment or interfere with later processes. The
grit and screenings removed by these processes must be periodically collected and trucked to a
landfill for disposal or are incinerated.

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Disinfection of wastewater and chlorination of drinking water supplies has reduced the occurrence
of waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, and dysentery, which remain problems in
underdeveloped countries while they have been virtually eliminated in the U.S. Infectious micro-
organisms, or pathogens, may be carried into surface and groundwater by sewage from cities and
institutions, by certain kinds of industrial wastes, such as tanning and meat packing plants, and by
the contamination of storm runoff with animal wastes from pets, livestock and wild animals, such as
geese or deer. Humans may come in contact with these pathogens either by drinking contaminated
water or through swimming, fishing, or other contact activities. Modern disinfection techniques have
greatly reduced the danger of waterborne disease.

Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus are essential to living organisms and are the chief nutrients
present in natural water. Large amounts of these nutrients are also present in sewage, certain
industrial wastes, and drainage from fertilized land. Conventional secondary biological treatment
processes do not remove the phosphorus and nitrogen to any substantial extent -- in fact, they may
convert the organic forms of these substances into mineral form, making them more usable by plant
life. When an excess of these nutrients over stimulates the growth of water plants, the result causes
unsightly conditions, interferes with drinking water treatment processes, and causes unpleasant and
disagreeable tastes and odors in drinking water. The release of large amounts of nutrients, primarily
phosphorus but occasionally nitrogen, causes nutrient enrichment which results in excessive growth
of algae. Uncontrolled algae growth blocks out sunlight and chokes aquatic plants and animals by
depleting dissolved oxygen in the water at night. The release of nutrients in quantities that exceed
the affected waterbody’s ability to assimilate them results in a condition called eutrophication or
cultural enrichment.

Inorganic and Synthetic Organic Chemicals

A vast array of chemicals are included in this category. Examples include detergents, household
cleaning aids, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, synthetic organic pesticides and herbicides,
industrial chemicals, and the wastes from their manufacture. Many of these substances are toxic to
fish and aquatic life and many are harmful to humans. Some are known to be highly poisonous at
very low concentrations. Others can cause taste and odor problems, and many are not effectively
removed by conventional wastewater treatment.

A wastewater lagoon or treatment pond is a scientifically constructed pond, three to five feet deep,
that allows sunlight, algae, bacteria, and oxygen to interact. Biological and physical treatment
processes occur in the lagoon to improve water quality. The quality of water leaving the lagoon,
when constructed and operated properly, is considered equivalent to the effluent from a
conventional secondary treatment system.

However, winters in cold climates have a significant impact on the effectiveness of lagoons, and
winter storage is usually required. Lagoons have several advantages when used correctly. They
can be used for secondary treatment or as a supplement to other processes. While treatment ponds
require substantial land area and are predominantly used by smaller communities, they account for
more than one-fourth of the municipal wastewater treatment facilities in this country. Lagoons
remove biodegradable organic material and some of the nitrogen from wastewater.

Stabilization Ponds
The proper operation of a stabilization pond with surface aeration includes frequent cycling of
aerators. Allowing the water surface to fluctuate in stabilization ponds will help to control shoreline
aquatic vegetation. Frequent wind for mixing will have the greatest positive effect on the operation
of a stabilization pond. Planting low-growing spreading grass would be the best method to prevent
erosion by surface runoff to a pond or dike not exposed to wave action.

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Stabilization ponds will most likely have problems with mosquitoes if emergent weeds are allowed
to grow near the shore. Discharge is restricted to specific periods best describes the batch
operation of a lagoon system.

Sequencing Batch Reactors (SBR) are a variation of the activated sludge process where all
treatment processes occur in one tank that is filled with wastewater and drawn down to discharge
after treatment is complete.

Settleable Solids are solids that are heavier than water and settle out of water by gravity.

Soil Absorption Field is a subsurface area containing a trench or bed with a minimum depth of 12
inches of clean stones and a system of piping through which treated wastewater effluent is
distributed into the surrounding soil for further treatment and disposal.

Slow Rate Land Treatment involves the controlled application of wastewater to vegetated land at a
few inches of liquid per week.

Suspended Solids are the small particles suspended in water or wastewater.

Trickling Filter is a fixed film process that involves a tank, usually filled with a bed of rocks, stones
or synthetic media, to support bacterial growth used to treat wastewater.

Ultraviolet Radiation (UV) is a disinfection process where wastewater is exposed to UV

light for disinfection.

Virus is the smallest form of a pathogen which can reproduce within host cells.

Wastewater Treatment Plant is a facility involving a series of tanks, screens, filters, and
other treatment processes by which pollutants are removed from water.

Suggested Control and Operation Methods

Ca(OH)2 has been used in wastewater treatment for many years. Usually it was used as a
coagulant, especially treating industrial waste. The correct name for Ca (OH)2 is Hydrated lime.

A typical set point to start backwashing a rapid-sand filter is at 7 feet of head loss.

Air to solids (A/S) ratio is important in process control and would affect a dissolved air flotation
(DAF) unit.

COD is an alternative to BOD for measuring the pollutional strength of wastewater. Bearing in mind
that the BOD and COD tests involve separate and distinct reactions, the primary disadvantage of
the COD test is that Chloride may interfere with the chemical reaction

Development of white biomass over most of a Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC) disc area could
be resolved by adjusting baffles between first and second stages to increase total surface area in
the first stage.

Highly caustic or alkaline wastes can be very hazardous and dangerous to personnel, treatment
processes, and equipment. By adding H2SO4, at the headworks, this would lower the pH.

Hydrogen sulfide generation is greatest when temperatures are above 30°C.

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If the motor bearings on a RBC are running above 200°F, the following corrective actions could be
taken: Lubricate bearings per manufacturer's instruction, Check torque and alignment of bearings
and Make sure the shaft is properly aligned.

Maintenance of the sulfur dioxide system should be part of a preventive maintenance program. It is
recommended that the sulfonators be cleaned every year or more frequently if necessary.

Some aeration tubing systems require cleaning on a weekly basis. Anhydrous hydrogen chloride
can be used to remove deposits of carbonate on the tubing slits and biological slime from inside the

Temperature or weather conditions promoting growth would cause excessive algae in the effluent of
a pond.

The electrical potential required to transfer electrons from one compound or element to another is
called: Oxidation reduction potential.

The Secchi disc is used to determine the clarity of a clarifier.

The suggested schedule for lubricating all valves stems, inspecting and greasing motor bearings is

If your plant is designed with a series of ponds. The operator notifies you that there is excessive
BOD in the effluent that has the potential to cause your plant to be out of compliance. You
calculated the organic loading and it indicates an overload. You can correct this by using pumps to
recirculate the pond contents.

Operators should be familiar with a pond's characteristics at various times of the day. The pH
and the dissolved oxygen is at the lowest point at sunrise.

Flow measurement devices are most commonly at the plant headworks.

A Parshall flume is a common flow measurement method and is most commonly used in
wastewater treatment measurement.

The process of adding a chemical compound drop by drop until a desired change occurs is
known as Titration.

The more familiar an operator becomes with the operation of a pond, the more accurate they
become with visual observations. A deep green sparkling color in the wastestream usually
indicates industrial facilities or operations.

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Activated Sludge Chapter 2

Key Terms
Aerobic (AIR-O-bick) a condition in which free or dissolved oxygen is present in the aquatic environment

Aerobic Bacteria – bacteria which will live and reproduce only in an environment containing oxygen.
(aerobes) Oxygen combined chemically, such as in water molecules (H2O), cannot be used for
respiration by aerobes

Anaerobic (AN-air O-bick)- a condition in which “free” or dissolved oxygen is not present in the aquatic

Anaerobic Bacteria – bacteria that thrive without the presence of oxygen.


Saprophytic bacteria – bacteria the breakdown complex solids to volatile acids.

Methane Fermenters – bacteria that brake down the volatile acids to methane (CH4) carbon dioxide
(CO2) and water (H2O).

Oxidation – the addition of oxygen to an element or compound, or removal of hydrogen or an electron

from an element or compound in a chemical reaction. The opposite of reduction.

Reduction – the addition of hydrogen, removal of oxygen or addition of electrons to an element or

compound. Under anaerobic conditions in wastewater, sulfur compounds or elemental sulfur
are reduced to H2S or sulfide ions.

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Activated Sludge Method
We have some wastewater treatment plants that grow the microorganisms (Bugs) in large
tanks. To have enough oxygen in the tanks we add oxygen by blowing air into the tank that is
full of wastewater and microorganisms. The air is bubbled in the water and mixes “the bugs”
and food and oxygen together. When we treat wastewater this way, we call it the activated
sludge method. With all of this food and air the microbes grow and multiply very rapidly.

Pretty soon the population of bugs gets too large and some of them need to be removed to
make room for new bugs to grow. We remove the excess bugs by sedimentation in the same
kind of tanks used for primary treatment. In the tank, the bugs sink to the bottom and we remove
them. The settled bugs are also called waste activated sludge. The waste sludge is treated
separately. The remaining wastewater is now much cleaner. In fact after primary and secondary
treatment, about 85% or more of all pollutants in the wastewater has been removed goes on to

Four (4) groups of bugs do most of the “eating” in the activated sludge process. The first group is
the bacteria which eat the dissolved organic compounds. The second and third groups of bugs are
microorganisms known as the free-swimming and stalked ciliates. These larger bugs eat the
bacteria and are heavy enough to settle by gravity. The fourth group is a microorganism, known as
Suctoria, which feed on the larger bugs and assist with settling.

The interesting thing about the bacteria that eat the dissolved organics, is that they have no mouth.
The bacteria have an interesting property, their “fat reserve” is stored on the outside of their body.
This fat layer is sticky and is what the organics adhere to.

Once the bacteria have “contacted” their food, they start the digestion process. A chemical enzyme
is sent out through the cell wall to break up the organic compounds. This enzyme, known as
hydrolytic enzyme, breaks the organic molecules into small units which are able to pass through the
cell wall of the bacteria.

In wastewater treatment, this process of using bacteria-eating-

bugs in the presence of oxygen to reduce the organics in water is
called activated sludge. The first step in the process, the contact
of the bacteria with the organic compounds, takes about 20
minutes. The second step is the breaking up, ingestion and
digestion processes, which takes four (4) to 24 hours.

The fat storage property of the bacteria is also an asset in settling.

As the bugs “bump” into each other, the fat on each, sticks
together and causes flocculation of the non-organic solids and
biomass. From the aeration tank, the wastewater, now called
mixed liquor, flows to a secondary clarification basin to allow the
flocculated biomass of solids to settle out of the water. The solids
biomass, which is the activated sludge, contains millions of
bacteria and other microorganisms, is used again by returning it to
the influent of the aeration tank for mixing with the primary effluent and ample amounts of air.

See Microlife Section for more information.

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Basic System Components of Activated Sludge
In the basic “activated” sludge process, emphasis on “activated”, the wastewater enters an
aerated tank (the dome) where previously developed biological floc particles are brought into
contact with the organic matter (foot-long hot dogs) of the wastewater.

The organic matter is a carbon and an energy source for the bug’s cell growth and is converted into
cell tissue and the oxidized end product is mainly carbon dioxide, CO2. The substance in the sports
dome is referred to as mixed liquor. The stuff in the mixed liquor is suspended solids and consists
mostly of microorganisms, suspended matter, and nonbiodegradable suspended matter (MLVSS).

The make up of the microorganisms are around 70 to 90% organic and 10 to 30% inorganic matter.
The makeup of cells varies depending on the chemical composition of the wastewater and the
specific characteristics of the organisms in the biological mass. The picture below shows the basic
outline of an aeration tank. Just remember that pretreatment is crucial prior to the activated sludge

Before we dive into the tank, in the space provided, list three key components of pretreatment
(headworks) and how each benefits the process.




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Back to the mixed liquor, as it leaves the aeration tank, it usually goes to a clarifier to separate the
suspended solids (SS) from the treated wastewater. The concentrated biological solids then are
recycled back to the aeration tank, returned activated sludge (RAS), to maintain a concentrated
population of bug’s (the team players) to treat the wastewater.

Before we start the game we need to make sure we have a stadium and all components are in
place and operating properly. In the space provided, define the following terms: See Glossary in






Process Design

Let’s first look at the different aeration tank designs and how they function. We will focus on the

Complete Mix Activated Sludge Process

Plug Flow Activated Sludge Process
Contact Stabilization Activated Sludge Process
Step Feed Activated Sludge Process
Extended Aeration Activated Sludge Process
Oxidation Ditch Activated Sludge Process
High Purity Oxygen Activated Sludge Process

Large Wastewater Treatment Facility

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Complete Mix Activated Sludge Process
In a complete mix activated sludge process, the mixed liquor is similar throughout the aeration tank.
The operating characteristics measured in terms of solids, oxygen uptake rate (OUR), MLSS, and
soluble BOD 5 concentration are identical throughout the tank.

Because the entire tank contents are the same quality as the tank effluent, there is a very low level
of food available at any time to a large mass of microorganisms.

This is the major reason why the complete mix modification can handle surges in the organic
loading without producing a change in effluent quality. The type of air supply used could be either
diffused air or a mechanical aerator. Complete mix process may be resistant to shock loads but is
susceptible to filamentous growth.

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Plug Flow Activated Sludge Process
Plug flow tanks are the oldest and most common form of aeration tank. They were designed to meet
the mixing and gas transfer requirements of diffused aeration systems. One characteristic of the
plug flow configuration is a very high organic loading on the MLSS in the initial part of the tank. The
loading then is reduced and the organic material in the raw wastewater is oxidized.

At the end of the tank, depending on detention time, the oxygen consumption may primarily be the
result of endogenous respiration or nitrification, we will talk more about this a little later. The same
characteristics are present when the aeration tank is partitioned into a series of compartments.

Each compartment must have the oxygen supply and design to meet the individual compartment
needs. Plug flow configurations have the ability to avoid “bleed through” or the passage of
untreated organics during peak flow. These configurations are often preferred when high effluent
DO’s are sought because only a small section of the tank will operate at a high DO. In a complete
mix configuration, the entire tank must operate at the elevated DO.

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Contact Stabilization Activated Sludge Process
Contact stabilization activated sludge is both a process and a specific tank configuration. The
contact stabilization encompasses a short-term contact tank, secondary clarifier, and a sludge
stabilization tank with about six times the detention time used in the contact tank.

Contact stabilization is best for smaller flows in which the MCRT desired is quite long.

Therefore, aerating return sludge can reduce tank requirements by as much as 30 to 40 % versus
that required in an extended aeration system. The volumes for the contact and stabilization tanks
are often equal in size and secondary influent arrangements.

What does this all mean?

They can be operated either in parallel as an extended aeration facility or as a contact stabilization
unit. This flexibility makes them suitable for future expansion to conventional activated sludge,
without increasing the aeration tank, by merely adding more clarification capacity.

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Step Feed Activated Sludge Process
Step feed is a modification of the plug flow configuration in which the secondary influent is fed at
two or more points along the length of the aeration tank.

With this arrangement, oxygen uptake requirements are relatively even and the need for tapered
aeration is eliminated.

Step feed configurations generally use diffused aeration equipment. The step feed tank may be
either the long rectangular or the folded design. Secondary influent flow is added at two or more
points to the aeration tank usually in the first 50 to 75% of the length.

It is also possible to use the same process approach by compartmentalizing the tank and directing
flow lengthwise through the compartments. Usually the last compartment does not receive any raw

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Extended Aeration Activated Sludge Process
The extended aeration process uses the same flow scheme as the complete mix or plug flow
processes but retains the wastewater in the aeration tank for 18 hours or more.

This process operates at a high MCRT (low F/M) resulting in a condition where there is not enough
food in the system to support all of the microorganisms present. The microorganisms therefore
compete very actively for the remaining food and even use their own cell structure for food.

This highly competitive situation results in a highly treated effluent with low sludge production.
(Many extended aeration systems do not have primary clarifiers and they are package plants used
by small communities.) The main disadvantages of this system are the large oxygen requirements
per unit of waste entering the plant and the large tank volume needed to hold the wastes for the
extended period.

Oxidation Ditch Activated Sludge Process

The oxidation ditch is a variation of the extended aeration process. The wastewater is pumped
around a circular or oval pathway by a mechanical aerator/pumping device at one or more points
along the flow pathway. In the aeration tank, the mixed liquor velocity is maintained between 0.8
and 1.2 fps in the channel to prevent solids from settling.

Oxidation ditches use mechanical brush disk aerators, surface aerators, and jet aerator devices to
aerate and pump the liquid flow. Combination diffused aeration and pumping devices are
commonly used in Europe.

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High Purity Oxygen Activated Sludge Process
The most common high purity oxygen activated sludge process uses a covered and staged aeration
tank configuration. The wastewater, return sludge, and oxygen feed gas enter the first stage of this
system and flow concurrently through the tank.

The tanks in this system are covered to retain the oxygen gas and permit a high degree of oxygen
use. A prime advantage of the staged reactor configuration of the oxygenation system is the
system’s ability to match the biological uptake rate with the available oxygen gas purity.

The dissolution of oxygen and the mixing of the biological solids within each stage of the system are
accomplished with either surface aeration devices or with submerged turbine-aeration systems.
The selection of either of these two types of dissolution systems largely depends on the aeration
tank geometry selected.

The particular configuration of oxygenation tank selected for a given system, that is, size of each
stage, number of stages per aeration tank, and number of parallel aeration tanks, is determined by
several parameters including waste characteristics, plant size, land availability, and treatment

Other than the aeration tank, the other key factor in an oxygen activated sludge system is the
oxygen gas source. There are three sources of oxygen supply: liquid oxygen storage, cryogenic
oxygen generation, and pressure-swing adsorption generation.

The first of these requires no mechanical equipment other than a storage tank that is replen-
ished by trucked-in liquid oxygen. This method is economically feasible for small (less than 4
mgd) or temporary installations.

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Aeration Application
There are several designs and applications for aerators:

Diffused Aerators
Mechanical Surface Aerators
Submerged Turbine Aerators

The two most common types of aeration systems are subsurface diffusion and mechanical aeration.
Diffused air systems have been around longer then you.

Opened tubes were used or perforated pipes located at the bottom of aeration tanks. But a more
efficient process was desired, born to the process, porous plate diffusers. In the diffused air system,
compressed air is introduced near the bottom of the tank. Let’s look at the definition for diffused

“The injection of a gas, air or oxygen, below a liquid surface.”

There is a variety of hybrid air diffusion systems used in the process; we will focus on the basic

The following diagram highlights the main parts of the diffused aeration system.

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Here is a rare and up-close view of non-porous diffuser heads. Notice the heads that are
missing in the bottom picture.

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In the diffused aeration system, blowers are used to circulate the tank’s contents by the air-lift
effect. The air filter on the blower removes dirt from the air, and therefore helps prevent diffuser
clogging. Before all this begins we need a power source to drive the blower. Usually electric motors
are used but in remote locations, gas or diesel engines can be used as well. In some states, solar
energy is available to provide the power.

As illustrated in the picture below, the rotation of the motor shaft is transferred to the blower shaft by
means of a flexible coupling or through drive belts. The blowers that we will refer to are centrifugal

The centrifugal blower works like a centrifugal pump or a fan.

Rotating impellers or fans cause movement of the air through
the blowers. You have an intake side that takes in the air and
the discharge side the forces the air out. Depending on the
number of impellers you have will determine if it is a multi-
stage or single stage blower. The picture below illustrates the
major components of a centrifugal blower.

A lobe blower utilizes positive

displacement; it also has an intake
and a discharge side. The lobes
turn in opposite direction in the
casing. As they turn, the air is
drawn in through the blower inlet
and is trapped. The lobes keep
turning, open the blower discharge,
and force the trapped air through
the outlet. Usually an electric motor
drives the blower with belt pulleys or
flexible couplings.

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Before we continue lets review what you just read about the blowers and motors.

1. What are two ways that the motor and the blowers can be attached?

2. When using flexible couplings, what are some maintenance concerns to consider?

Blowers may be provided with additional equipment. For example, safeguards can be installed to
protect equipment and operators. Temperature sensors can be used for bearing housing, vibration
sensors protect the unit by shutting it down if limits are exceeded. Condensation drains should be
provided on the bottom of blowers to drain off any accumulated moisture.

The compressed air from the blowers moves into a system of pipes and valves. The amount of air
supplied from the blower is controlled by regulating valves mounted on the intake and/or discharge
side of the blower. Usually butterfly valves are used and depending on your budget, you could have
manually operated or used automation.

Blowers usually discharge to a common manifold so check valves are installed at the discharge of
each blower. The intake and discharge pipes are called the air mains. They are connected by a
flexible connection to allow for vibration and heat expansion in the piping. In the winter months, the
best place to be is in the blower room. There is a pressure relief valve on the discharge manifold to
protect the blower from excessive back pressure overload. When this occurs the operator will be
awaken on the mid-night shift. Pressure gages are used in several areas on the discharge side of
the blowers. In some cases you may see them on the intake side for use in calculations of pump

On the intake side were air is supplied you would have some type of filtering to remove dirt particles
that could clog the diffusers. It also protects the blowers from excessive wear. Replaceable filter
units are the simplest for operations. Bag house dust collectors are bulky and expensive, though
maintenance may be less. In some cases, electrostatic precipitators may be an advantage,
shocking if operators are not careful, in areas of poor air quality. Most systems have utilized
pressure drop measuring to indicate when it is time to replace or clean the units.

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There are many different design layouts and patterns of diffuser placement. Systems that allow
longer and more complete contact between the air and the liquid are preferred. We will focus on
fine bubble (porous) diffusers and coarse bubble (nonporous).

Coarse bubble diffusion devices or large-hole diffusers produce larger bubbles than porous plates,
porous tubes, or synthetic socks. The larger bubbles provide less surface area for air-liquid contact
and will result in less oxygen transfer efficiency than that obtained with fine bubble diffusers.

Answer this question:

An air stone like the ones used in aquariums is a good example of a?

A. Porous material
B. Nonporous material

Mechanical Aeration
There are several main
types of mechanical
aeration devices. The
floating and fixed bridge
aerators are quite
common. Some use a
blade to agitate the
tank’s surface and
disperse air bubbles into
the aeration liquor.
Others circulate the
mixed liquor by an
updraft or downdraft
pump or turbine. This
action produces surface
and subsurface
turbulence, while
diffusing air through the mixed liquor.

The motor speeds are usually in the 1800 rpm range.

This speed is reduced to the 30 to 70 rpm range with
gear reducers.

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Most vertical motors are mounted on a gear reduction unit as seen
in the picture on the right. The impeller drive shaft can be enclosed
in a housing connected directly to the gear box. There is a bearing
at the bottom of the shaft that steadies and aligns this shaft. This
bearing needs lubrication, always check your manufactures

Some plants use an oxidation ditch in which rotating brushes,

blades, or disks are rotated partially submerged in the mixed liquor.
The turbulence produced traps the air bubbles and keeps the mixed
liquor in motion.

Other systems use both compressed air and a mechanical device to trap the bubbles. In one such
system, submerged turbine aeration, air is injected below a rotating turbine blade that shears and
disperses the air.

Submerged turbine applications have also used a draft tube operating in a downdraft-pumping

Jet and Aspirator

Aerators provide oxygen transfer by mixing pressurized air and water within a nozzle and then
discharging the mixture into the aeration tank. The velocity of the discharged liquid and the rising
air plume provide the necessary mixing action.

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Secondary Clarifiers
Because microorganisms are continually produced, a way must be provided for wasting some of the
generated biological solids produced. This is generally done from the round or rectangular shaped

Let’s first look at the components of a rectangular clarifier. Most are designed with scrapers on the
bottom to move the settled activated sludge to one or more hoppers at the influent end of the tank.
It could have a screw conveyor or a traveling bridge used to collect the sludge. The most common
is a chain and flight collector. Most designs will have baffles to prevent short-circuiting and scum
from entering the effluent.

The activated sludge is removed from the hopper(s) and returned by a sludge pump to the aeration
tank or wasted. Since we mentioned return and wasted what does the following terms represent?



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Scum Removal Equipment

Scum removal equipment is desirable on secondary clarifiers. Skimmers are either of the type that
rotates automatically or manually. The most important thing to consider is the sludge and scum
collection mechanism. We will talk about “flights and chains”. They move the settled sludge to the
hopper in the clarifier for return and they also remove the scum from the surface of the clarifier. The
flights are usually wood or nonmetallic flights mounted on parallel chains. The motor shaft is
connected through a gear reducer to a shaft which turns the drive chain. The drive chain turns the
drive sprockets and the head shafts. The shafts can be located overhead or below.

Some clarifiers may not have scum removal equipment so the configuration of the shaft may very.
As the flights travel across the bottom of the clarifier, wearing shoes are used to protect the flights.
The shoes are usually metal and travel across a metal track.

To prevent damage do to overloads, a shear pin is used. The

shear pin holds the gear solidly on the shaft so that no slippage
occurs. Remember that the gear moves the drive chain. If a heavy
load is put on the sludge collector system then the shear pin
should break. This means that the gear would simply slide around
the shaft and movement of the drive chain would stop.

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Top picture, a clarifier’s raking mechanism. Bottom, scum armature equipment.

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Let’s take a moment to review. Answer each of the questions below in the space

1. What is the purpose of the flights and chains?

2. What is used to prevent wear of the flights at the bottom of the tank?

3. What is used to prevent damage to the unit during overloads? What could have caused the

4. If you were creating a preventative maintenance program for this unit, in the space provided
below what would be done during a plant shutdown?

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Scum Removal Equipment
In some circular or square tanks rotating scrapers are used. The diagram below shows a typical
Scum removal equipment.
The most common type has
a center pier or column. The
major mechanic parts of the
clarifier are the drive unit; the
sludge collector mechanism;
and the scum removal
system. There is also some
related equipment that we
will consider briefly. Let’s
look at the drive unit first. Scrapers
There are three main parts to
the drive unit; the motor (or
gear motor); the gear
reducer; and the turntable.

The motor is connected to a gear reduction unit which is commonly connected to additional gearing.
The drive cage is rotated around a center column by the motor and gear reduction unit. Although
the drive motor runs about 1800 rpm’s, the gear reducer lowers the output speed so that the sludge
collector mechanism goes through one revolution every 20 to 30 minutes. Usually the motors used
on clarifiers mechanisms are totally enclosed, fan cooled motors, suitable for outside operation.

The horsepower of the motor is dependant on the size of the

clarifier. The motor drives the chain and sprocket which drives
the worm gear. The worm gear drives the gear that is mounted
on a shaft that drives the turntable. The motor shaft speed is
reduced by a series of gear reducers.

We looked at the main parts of the drive unit, now let’s take a
look at the sludge collector and the scum removal system
mechanism. The main parts of the unit are: the rake arm; the
scraper blades; the adjustable squeegees; the surface
skimmer; the scum baffles; and the scum box.

The surface skimmer rotates at the same speed as the

collector mechanism and is usually supported by the collector rake arm. The scum baffle prevents
scum from flowing over the effluent weir. The surface skimmer collects the scum and deposits it in
the scum box. The stilling well or influent baffle projects above the liquid and directs the influent
downwards to assist in the settling of suspected solids and reduce short circuiting. Another
important part of the secondary clarifier is the effluent weir, launder and pipe. An effluent weir goes
around the circumference of the tank and allows clarified liquid to flow evenly from the tank. The
effluent launder collects the tank overflow and takes it a low point in the launder where a pipe is
used to take the effluent to the chlorine contact basin or other means of treatment.

Some clarifiers may have a scum trough heater. The scum removal system rotates around the
clarifier at a very slow rate. In subfreezing temperatures, the scum box and pipe could freeze. This
problem can be overcome by using immersion heaters, or putting infrared lamps over the scum box.
Some clarifiers are covered.

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As you have read depending on the design and operation of the process, activated sludge has
several interrelated components:

1. Single aeration tank or multiple aeration tanks designed for completely mixed or plug flow.

2. An aeration source to provide adequate oxygen and mixing: sources can be compressed
air, mechanical aeration, or pure oxygen.

3. A clarifier to separate the biological solids (activated sludge) from the treated wastewater.

4. A means of collecting the biological solids in the clarifier and recycling most of them (return
activated sludge, RAS) to the aeration tank.

5. A means of removing or wasting excess biological solids (waste activated sludge, WAS)
from the system.

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The Microlife
We talked about the basic components and designs of the activated sludge now let’s look at the
main “Team Players”. Your process will respond to what ever direction you give it. You can run
your plant (the team) to always try for the better or be content with the way it is. To get the best, it
takes work!

Most activated sludge processes are used to degrade carbonaceous BOD. It is also possible to
design and/or operate the basic system to oxidize ammonia (nitrification).

Many plants are now designed to achieve nitrification. Other system modifications include
phosphorus removal and biological denitrification. Activated sludge plants are usually designed
from pilot plant and laboratory studies.

From this approach, it is possible to design a process based on the amount of time the sludge
spends in the system generally termed mean cell residence time (MCRT) or on the amount of food
provided to the bacteria in the aeration tank (the food-to-microorganism ratio, F/M). What does this

Suppose a person ate 10 pounds of hot dogs (BOD) and weighed 200 pounds (MLSS).

What is the ratio of food to weight?

It would be 10 lbs. to 200 lbs. If we divide 200 into 10, the ratio is .05 or 5%. 200 lbs is the

Is this getting you hungry?

Common wastewater sampling bottles

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F/M and MCRT
The following are some general statements about F/M and MCRT assuming that the
environmental conditions are properly controlled.

a. The optimum operating point of either helps obtain the desired effluent concentration.
b. Both provide a means for maintaining the best effluent and sludge quality.
c. Both techniques attempt to regulate rate of growth, metabolism, and stabilization of food
d. Both techniques indicate the solids level needed to stabilize the food and attain sludge
e. The desired solids level is controlled by wasting.
1. To maintain – waste amount of net daily
2. To increase – decrease waste rate
3. To decrease – increase waste rate
f. They are interrelated so changing one control changes the other.
g. Once the control point is set, it should remain constant until change in effluent or sludge
quality requires a change.

The operating control point is that point when the best effluent and sludge quality is obtained for
the existing conditions.


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Team Players
Activated Sludge Microorganisms

Before we look at the bugs themselves, let’s look at eating habits. Have you ever met a person who
was a picky eater?

You have people who will put their noses up at some things and other’s who would eat anything.
Predators typically eat from a narrow set of prey, while omnivores and scavengers eat from a
broader food selection.

Swimming and gliding ciliates engulf bacteria or other prey.

Stalked ciliates attach to the biomass and vortex suspended bacteria into their gullets, while
crawlers break bacteria loose from the floc surface.
Predators feed mostly on stalked and swimming ciliates. The omnivores, such as most
rotifers, eat whatever is readily available, while the worms feed on the floc or prey on larger
organisms. Microorganisms are directly affected by their treatment environment.
Changes in food, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pH, total dissolved solids, sludge age,
presence of toxins, and other factors create a dynamic environment for the treatment
Food (organic loading) regulates microorganism numbers, diversity, and species when other factors
are not limiting. The relative abundance and occurrence of organisms at different loadings can
reveal why some organisms are present in large numbers while others are absent.

Aerobic Bacteria
The aerobic bacteria that occur are similar to those found in other treatment processes such
as activated sludge. Three functional groups occur: freely dispersed, single bacteria; floc-
forming bacteria; and filamentous bacteria. All function similarly to oxidize organic carbon
(BOD) to produce CO2 and new bacteria (new sludge).

Many bacterial species that degrade wastes grow

as single bacteria dispersed in the wastewater.
Although these readily oxidize BOD, they do not
settle and hence often leave the lagoon system in
the effluent as solids (TSS). These tend to grow in
lagoons at high organic loading and low oxygen
conditions. More important are the floc-forming
bacteria, those that grow in a large aggregate
(floc) due to exocellular polymer production (the
glycocalyx). This growth form is important as these
flocs degrade BOD and settle at the end of the process, producing a low TSS effluent.

A number of filamentous bacteria occur in lagoons, usually at specific growth environments.

These generally do not cause any operational problems in lagoons, in contrast to activated sludge
where filamentous bulking and poor sludge settling is a common problem. Most heterotrophic
bacteria have a wide range in environmental tolerance and can function effectively in BOD
removal over a wide range in pH and temperature. Aerobic BOD removal generally proceeds well
from pH 6.5 to 9.0 and at temperatures from 3-4oC to 60- 70°C (mesophilic bacteria are replaced
by thermophilic bacteria at temperatures above 35°C). BOD removal generally declines rapidly
below 3-4°C and ceases at 1-2°C.

A very specialized group of bacteria occurs to some extent in lagoons (and other wastewater
treatment systems) that can oxidize ammonia via nitrite to nitrate, termed nitrifying bacteria.
These bacteria are strict aerobes and require a redox potential of at least +200 m V (Holt et al.,
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It was once thought that only two bacteria were involved in nitrification: Nitrosomonas europaea,
which oxidizes ammonia to nitrite, and Nitrobacter winogradskyi, which oxidizes nitrite to nitrate. It
is now known that at least 5 genera of bacteria oxidize ammonia and at least three genera of
bacteria oxidize nitrite (Holt et al., 1994). Besides oxygen, these nitrifying bacteria require a
neutral pH (7-8) and substantial alkalinity (these autotrophs use CO2 as a carbon source for
growth). This indicates that complete nitrification would be expected at pond pH values between
pH 7.0 and 8.5. Nitrification ceases at pH values above pH 9 and declines markedly at pH values
below 7. This results from the growth inhibition of the nitrifying bacteria. Nitrification, however, is
not a major pathway for nitrogen removal in lagoons. Nitrifying bacteria exists in low numbers in
lagoons. They prefer attached growth systems and/or high MLSS sludge systems.

Anaerobic Bacteria
Anaerobic, heterotrophic bacteria that commonly occur in lagoons are involved in methane
formation (acid-fonning and methane bacteria) and in sulfate reduction (sulfate reducing bacteria).
Anaerobic methane formation involves three different groups of anaerobic bacteria that function
together to convert organic materials to methane via a three step process. General anaerobic
degraders - many genera of anaerobic bacteria hydrolyze proteins, fats, and poly saccharides
present in wastewater to amino acids, short-chain peptides, fatty acids, glycerol, and mono- and
di-saccharides. These have a wide environmental tolerance in pH and temperature.

Photosynthetic Organisms
Acid-forming bacteria - this diverse group of bacteria converts products from above under
anaerobic conditions to simple alcohols and organic acids such as acetic, propionic, and butyric.
These bacteria are hardy and occur over a wide pH and temperature range. Methane forming
bacteria - these bacteria convert formic acid, methanol, methylamine, and acetic acid under
anaerobic conditions to methane. Methane is derived in part from these compounds and in part
from CO2 reduction.

Methane bacteria are environmentally sensitive and have a narrow pH range of 6.5- 7.5 and
require temperatures > 14o C.

Note that the products of the acid formers (principally acetic acid) become the substrate for the
methane producers. A problem at times exists where the acid formers overproduce organic acids,
lowering the pH below where the methane bacteria can function (a pH < 6.5). This can stop
methane formation and lead to a buildup of sludge in a lagoon with a low pH. In an anaerobic
fernmenter, this is called a "stuck digester". Also, methane fermentation ceases at cold
temperature, probably not occurring in most lagoons in the wintertime in cold climates. A number
of anaerobic bacteria (14 genera reported to date (Bolt et al., 1994)) called sulfate reducing
bacteria can use sulfate as an electron acceptor, reducing sulfate to hydrogen sulfide. This occurs
when BOD and sulfate are present and oxygen is absent. Sulfate reduction is a major cause of
odors in ponds.

Anaerobic, photosynthetic bacteria occur in all lagoons and are the predominant photo-synthetic
organisms in anaerobic lagoons, The anaerobic sulfur bacteria, generally grouped into the red and
green sulfur bacteria and represented by about 28 genera (Ehrlich, 1990), oxidize reduced sulfur
compounds (H2S) using light energy to produce sulfur and sulfate, Here, H2S is used in place of
H2O as used by algae and green plants, producing S04- instead of O2. All are either strict
anaerobes or microaerophilic. Most common are Chromatium, Thiocystis, and Thiopedia, which
can grow in profusion and give a lagoon a pink or red color. Finding them is most often an
indication of organic overloading and anaerobic conditions in an intended aerobic system.
Conversion of odorous sulfides to sulfur and sulfate by these sulfur bacteria is a significant odor
control mechanism in facultative and anaerobic lagoons, and can be desirable.

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Algae are aerobic organisms that are photosynthetic and grow with simple inorganic
compounds CO2, NH3, NO3-, and PO4-- ) using light as an energy source. **Note that algae
produce oxygen during the daylight hours and consume oxygen at night.

Algae are desirable in lagoons as they generate oxygen needed by bacteria for waste stabili-
zation. Three major groups occur in lagoons, based on their chlorophyll type: brown algae
(diatoms), green algae, and red algae. The predominant algal species at any given time is
dependent on growth conditions, particularly temperature, organic loading, oxygen status,
nutrient availability, and predation pressures. A fourth type of "algae" common in lagoons is
the cyano-bacteria or blue-green bacteria.

These organisms grow much as the true algae, with the exception that most species can fix
atmospheric nitrogen. Blue-green bacteria often bloom in lagoons and some species produce
odorous and toxic by-products.

Blue-Green Bacteria
Blue-green bacteria appear to be favored by poor growth conditions including high temper-
ature, low light, low nutrient availability (many fix nitrogen) and high predation pressure.
Common blue-green bacteria in waste treatment systems include Aphanothece,
Microcystis, Oscillatoria and Anabaena.

Algae can bloom in lagoons at any time of the year (even under the ice); however, a
succession of algal types occurs over the season. There is also a shift in the algal species
present in a lagoon through the season, caused by temperature and rotifer and Daphnia
predation. Diatoms usually predominate in the wintertime at temperatures <60°F. In the early
spring when predation is low and lagoon temperatures increase above 60°F, green algae
such as Chlorella, Chlamydomonas, and Euglena often predominate in waste treatment

The predominant green algae change to species with spikes or horns such as
Scenesdesmus, Micractinium,
and Ankistrodesmus later in
the season when Rotifers and
Daphnia are active (these
species survive predation

Algae grow at warmer

temperature, longer detention
time, and when inorganic
minerals needed for growth
are in excess. Alkalinity
(inorganic carbon) is the only
nutrient likely to be limiting for
algal growth in lagoons.
Substantial sludge
accumulation in a lagoon may
become soluble upon warming in the spring, releasing algal growth nutrients and causing an
algal bloom. Sludge resolution of nutrients is a major cause of high algal growth in a lagoon,
requiring sludge removal from the lagoon for correction.

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Treatment Lagoon

The pH at a treatment lagoon is determined by the various chemical species of alkalinity that are
present. The main species present are carbon dioxide (CO2, bicarbonate ion (HCO3), and
carbonate ion (CO3=). Alkalinity and pH can affect which species will be present. High amounts of
CO2 yield a low lagoon pH, while high amounts of CO3= yield a high lagoon pH.

Bacterial growth on BOD releases CO2 which subsequently dissolves in water to yield carbonic
acid (H2CO3). This rapidly dissociates to bicarbonate ion, increasing the lagoon alkalinity .
Bacterial oxidation of BOD causes a decrease in lagoon pH due to CO2 release.

Algal growth in lagoons has the opposite effect on lagoon pH, raising the pH due to algal use for
growth of inorganic carbon (CO2 and HCO3). Algal growth reduces the lagoon alkalinity which
may cause the pH to increase if the lagoon alkalinity (pH buffer capacity) is low. Algae can grow
to such an extent in lagoons (a bloom) that they consume for photosynthesis all of the CO2 and
HCO3-present, leaving only carbonate (CO3=) as the pH buffering species.

This causes the pH of the lagoon to become alkaline. pH values of 9.5 or greater are common in
lagoons during algal blooms, which can lead to lagoon effluent pH violations (in most states this is
pH = 9). It should be noted that an increase in the lagoon pH caused by algal growth can be
beneficial. Natural disinfection of pathogens is enhanced at higher pH.

Phosphorus removal by natural chemical precipitation is greatly enhanced at pH values

greater than pH = 8.5. In addition, ammonia stripping to the atmosphere is enhanced at higher
pH values (NH3 is strippable, not NH4+).

Protozoans and Microinvertebrates

Many higher life forms (animals) develop in lagoons. These include protozoans and
microinvertebrates such as rotifers, daphnia, annelids, chironomids (midge larvae), and
mosquito larvae (often termed the zooplankton).
These organisms playa role in waste purification
by feeding on bacteria and algae and promoting
flocculation and settling of particulate material.

Protozoans are the most common higher life

forms in lagoons with about 250 species
identified in lagoons to date (Curds, 1992).
Rotifers and daphnia are particularly important
in controlling algal overgrowth and these often
"bloom" when algal concentrations are high.

These microinvertebrates are relatively slow

growing and generally only occur in systems
with a detention time of >10 days. Mosquitoes
grow in lagoons where shoreline vegetation is
not removed and these may cause a nuisance
and public health problem.

Culex tarsalis, the vector of Western Equine

Encephalitis in the western U.S., grows well in
wastewater lagoons (USEPA, 1983). The
requirement for a minimum lagoon bank slope
and removal of shoreline vegetation by most
regulatory agencies is based on the public

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health need to reduce mosquito vectors.
Paramecium sp.
Paramecium is a medium size to large (100-300 m)
swimming ciliate, commonly observed in activated sludge,
sometimes in abundant numbers. The body is either foot-
shaped or cigar-shaped, and somewhat flexible.
Paramecium is uniformly ciliated over the entire body
surface with longer cilia tufts at the rear of the cell.
Paramecium swims with a smooth gliding motion. It may
also be seen paired up with another Paramecium which
makes a good diagnostic key. The cell has either one or
two large water cavities which are also identification tools.
This swimmer moves freely in the water column as it
engulfs suspended bacteria. It has a large feeding groove
used to trap bacteria and form the food cavities that move
throughout the body as digestion occurs. Paramecium is
described as a filter-feeding ciliate because its cilia move
and filter bacteria from the water.

Vorticella sp.
Vorticella is a stalked ciliate.
There are at least a dozen
species found in activated
sludge ranging in length from
about 30 to 150 m. These
organisms are oval to round
shaped, have a contractile
stalk, a domed feeding zone,
and a water vacuole located
near the terminal end of the
feeding cavity. One organism
is found on each stalk except
during cell division. After
reproducing, the offspring
develops a band of swimming
cilia and goes off to form its
own stalk. The evicted
organism is called a

Vorticella feeds by producing a vortex with its feeding cilia. The vortex draws bacteria into its gullet.
Vorticella's principal food source is suspended bacteria. The contracting stalk provides some
mobility to help the organism capture bacteria and avoid predators.

The stalk resembles a coiled spring after its rapid contraction. Indicator: If treatment conditions are
bad, for example low DO or toxicity, Vorticella will leave their stalks. Therefore, a bunch of empty
stalks indicates poor conditions in an activated sludge system. Vorticella sp. are present when the
plant effluent quality is high.

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Euglypha sp.
Euglypha (70-100 æm) is a shelled (testate)
amoeba. Amoebas have jelly-like bodies. Motion
occurs by extending a portion of the body
(pseudopodia) outward. Shelled amoebas have a
rigid covering which is either secreted or built from
sand grains or other extraneous materials. The
secreted shell of this Euglypha sp. consists of
about 150 oval plates. Its spines project backward
from the lower half of the shell. Euglypha spines
may be single or in groups of two or three. The
shell has an opening surrounded by 8-11 plates
that resemble shark teeth under very high

The shell of Euglypha is often transparent,

allowing the hyaline (watery) body to be seen
inside the shell. The pseudopodia extend outward
in long, thin, rays when feeding or moving.
Euglypha primarily eats bacteria. Indicator: Shelled amoebas are common in soil, treatment plants,
and stream bottoms where decaying organic matter is present. They adapt to a wide range of
conditions and therefore are not good indicator organisms.

Euchlanis sp.
This microscopic animal is a
typical rotifer. Euchlanis is a
swimmer, using its foot and cilia
for locomotion. In common with
other rotifers, it has a head
rimmed with cilia, a transparent
body, and a foot with two strong
swimming toes.

The head area, called the

"corona," has cilia that beat
rhythmically producing a strong
current for feeding or swimming.
Euchlanis is an omnivore
meaning that its varied diet
includes detritus, bacteria, and
small protozoa. Euchlanis has a
glassy shell secreted by its outer
skin. The transparent body
reveals the brain, stomach,
intestines, bladder, and
reproductive organs.

A characteristic of rotifers is their mastax, which is a jaw-like device that grinds food as it enters the
stomach. At times the action of the mastax resembles the pulsing action of a heart. Rotifers,
however, have no circulatory system. Indicator: Euchlanis is commonly found in activated sludge
when effluent quality is good. It requires a continual supply of dissolved oxygen, evidence that
aerobic conditions have been sustained.

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Wastewater Treatment Microlife

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Major Algae Groups

Blue-green algae are the slimy stuff. Its cells lack nuclei and its pigment is
scattered. Blue-green algae are not actually algae, they are bacteria.

Green algae cells have nuclei and the pigment is distinct. Green algae are the
most common algae in ponds and can be multicellular.

Euglenoids are green or brown and swim with their flagellum, too. They are easy
to spot because of their red eye. Euglenoids are microscopic and single celled.

Dinoflagellates have a flagella and can swim in open waters. They are
microscopic and single celled.

Diatoms look like two shells that fit together. They are microscopic and single

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Review Basic Process
As previously noted, the activated sludge process can be used to remove carbonaceous BOD and
also ammonia (nitrification). We can take the wastewater oxygen demand separated into two
categories: carbonaceous and nitrogenous.

Carbonaceous BOD Removal

The carbonaceous demand should be expressed as a function of the number of days that the
demand will be measured; 3-day, 5-day (most common), 7-day, and 20-day time periods are
commonly used. To obtain only carbonaceous oxygen demand, it may be necessary to inhibit
nitrification by adding chemicals.

The rate and extent of BOD5 (5-day BOD) removal in a primary treated (settled) or untreated
wastewater depends on the relative quantities of soluble, colloidal, and suspended BOD5, and a
soluble BOD5 content of approximately 20 to 40% of the total. These proportions may vary,
particularly in warmer climates where long collection system residence times and the higher
wastewater temperatures may result in a higher proportion of soluble BOD5. This is caused by the
bacterial degradation of a portion of the colloidal and settleable fractions.

With a typical municipal wastewater, a well-designed activated sludge process should achieve a
carbonaceous, soluble BOD5 effluent quality of 5mg/L or less. Similarly, with clarifiers designed to
maximize solids removal at peak flows and adequate process control, the average SS in the
effluent should not exceed 15 mg/L. On a practical basis, an effluent with 20/20 mg/L BOD5 and
SS should be attained, assuming proper operation. Potential capabilities of the process are 10/15
mg/L Bod5 and SS. To consistently achieve values lower than 10/15 mg/L, some type of tertiary
treatment is required.

Of the total oxygen demand exerted by the wastewater, there is often a sizeable fraction associated
with the oxidation of ammonia to nitrate. The autotrophic bacteria Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter
are responsible for this two-state conversion. Being autotrophic, these nitrifying organisms must
reduce oxidized carbon compounds in the wastewater, such as C02 and its related ionic species,
for cell growth. As a result, this characteristic markedly affects the ability of the nitrifying organisms
to compete in a mixed culture.

The nitrifying bacteria obtain their energy by oxidizing ammonia nitrogen to nitrite nitrogen and then
to nitrate nitrogen. Because very little energy is obtained from these oxidation reactions, and
because energy is needed to change CO2 to cellular carbon, the population of nitrifiers in activated
sludge is relatively small. When compared to the normal bacteria in activated sludge, the nitrifying
bacteria have a slower reproduction rate.

Nitrifying organisms are present to some extent in all domestic wastewaters. However, some
wastewaters are not nitrified in existing plants because they are designed for the higher growth rate
of bacteria responsible for carbonaceous removal. As the MCRT is increased, nitrification generally
takes place. The longer MCRT prevents nitrifying organisms from being lost from the system when
carbonaceous wasting occurs or, more accurately, the longer MCRT permits the build-up of an
adequate population of nitrifiers.

Because of the longer MCRT required for nitrification, some systems are designed to achieve
nitrification in the second stage of a two-stage activated sludge system.

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The oxygen demand for complete nitrification is high. For most domestic wastewaters, it will
increase the oxygen supply and power requirements by 30 to 40% because complete nitrification
requires from 4.3 to 4.6 lb. of oxygen for each lb. of ammonia nitrogen (4.3 to 4.6 mg/mg) converted
into nitrate, and wastewaters generally contain 10 to 30 mg/L of reduced nitrogen. Nitrification
systems generally are not operated at intermediate (40 to 80%) removals; stable operation is
achieved when essentially complete nitrification (greater than 90%) occurs.

Minimum acceptable dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations of 2 to 3 mg/L have been reported, but
nitrification appears to be inhibited when the oxygen concentration is lower than 1 mg/L.

Optimum growth of nitrifying bacteria has been observed in the pH range of 8 to 9 although other
ranges have been reported. A substantial reduction in nitrification activity usually occurs at pH
levels below 7, although nitrification can occur at low pH.

While nitrification occurs over a wide temperature range, temperature reduction results in a slower
reaction rate. The temperature effect is made less severe by increasing the MCRT. During the
conversion of ammonia to nitrate, mineral acidity is produced. If insufficient alkalinity is present, the
system’s pH will drop and nitrification may be inhibited.

Bacteria Highlights
A change in the numbers or predominance of microorganisms in activated sludge is usually

The time required for a complete shift from one species to another will normally be seen in: 2 to 3

A large amount of long filamentous

bacteria will: prevent good settling.

Endogenous respiration of
microorganisms in an extended aeration
plant will: complete the oxidation
process of an organic material.

Nocardia causes frothing.

Saprophytic bacteria produces the most

acid in an anaerobic digester.

The best location for microscopic examination of activated sludge in a conventional system is: at
the effluent end of the aeration system. The examination that was performed reveals a predominant
number of rotifers and nematodes, this condition indicates that the F/M ratio is too low and this
would be normal in an EXTENDED AERATION process.

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Sludge Highlights
A belt filter press may contain a Venturi type restriction whose purpose is to provide turbulence to
mix polymer with the flow.

The dry chemical should be weighed out and mixed with water when using dry chemicals for sludge

Anaerobic digested sludge is different from aerobic sludge because Aerobic sludge has a higher
water content.

During the colder winter months, operational changes in the activated sludge plant should include
decreasing sludge wasting.

Ferric chloride is the type of chemical conditioner most commonly used for sludge conditioning.

Thickening or dewatering sludge affects transportation or storage by reducing the sludge volume

If sludge is septic and is put in a gravity sludge thickener, the results are that gases may be
produced and causing the sludge to rise.

In sludge incineration a complete oxidation of the sludge depends upon the ratio of fuel and air

More food will be available and more oxygen will be required if primary sludge is added to an
aerobic digester.

The ability of a belt press to dewater sludge is dependant on: Sludge type and conditioning and the
hydraulic loading and the belt speed.

The ability to rotate one ton chlorine cylinders is a safety feature. Because it would give to much
ease to roll, is the reason it is advised to NOT to use roller bearings.

The reason that causes the sludge to rise during a settlability test is that denitrification is taking

The drying time and the time required to remove sludge information should be used to determine
the optimum depth to apply sludge on a sand drying bed.

The purpose of elutriation to sludge is to reduce sludge alkalinity.

The sludge dredged from a long term storage lagoon is usually 6 to 12% solids.

The sludge in the secondary clarifier is going septic, the cause could be: Return rate too low,
holding solids to long and returned sludge pump off or lines plugged.

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Digester Highlights
A single adjustable tube is typically used to read supernatant on a floating cover anaerobic digester.

Excessive foam has developed in an aerobic digester. The DO is high, the pH is neutral, and the O2
uptake is stable. The operator should reduce the foam by lowering the air rate to reduce turbulence.

If the water seal on an anaerobic digester breaks and air enters, this may cause an explosion.

In an aerobic digester the DO drops to below 1.0 mg/L but the blowers are operating at full capacity.
The operator should reduce the loading to the digester under these conditions.

Residual dissolved oxygen is the most important water quality analysis performed on aerobic
digester contents.

Sludge which is well thickened prior to digestion will produce an increase in digester time.

The organic loading on a digester determined by measuring the volatile solids loading per cubic foot
per day.

The supernatant draw off line in an aerobic digester is located as a multilevel draw off line in the
upper half of the tank.

To provide a water seal to prevent air from entering the digester is the purpose of the annular space
on a floating cover anaerobic digester.

When measuring the DO in an aerobic digester, treat the digester carefully, as a living organism.

When 1/3 of the digester capacity is filled with grit and scum, the anaerobic digester is taken out of
service for cleaning.

When the solids content of sludge is <3.5%, the raw sludge should be fed to an anaerobic digester.

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Top left, filters being baked at 105oC. Right picture, filters in desiccant.
Bottom picture, preparation for the fecal test.

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Return and Waste Activated Sludge Systems
The RAS system pumps the settled sludge from the secondary clarifier back to the aeration tank. It
is important that this system return the RAS to the aeration tank before the microorganisms deplete
all the DO. The RAS must also be as concentrated as possible and the flow must be accurately
measured and controlled.

To accomplish this, the RAS pumping system must have

a positive variable flow control device and the RAS flow
must be adjustable between the minimum and maximum
range for proper process control. The desired return flow
to the aeration tank could also be automatically paced to
secondary influent flow.

All activated sludge processes must have a WAS system

to remove excess microorganisms. This is necessary to
control the F/M and MCRT. If the process is to reliably
meet discharge requirements, this system must provide a
positive, flexible, and reliable means of removing excess

It is essential that the system have flow-metering and

pumping equipment that function completely independent of other activated sludge control
devices. The most positive and flexible system will include an independent pumping system
with flow adjustability (for example, variable speed drive) and a flow meter that provides
feedback into a flow-control device.

Such a system can be set for a given wasting rate with complete assurance that variable system
head or concentration conditions will not affect its ability to remove the microorganisms
required. WAS systems must have sufficient capacity to deal with both the hydraulic and/or
organic load changes and process changes.

Aeration and DO Control

The purpose of aeration is two-fold: oxygen must be dissolved in the liquid in sufficient quantities to
maintain the organisms and the contents of the tank must be sufficiently mixed to keep the sludge
slid in suspension.

Mixing energy and oxygen transfer are provided through mechanical or diffused aeration. The
amount of oxygen that has to be transferred by the aeration system is theoretically equal to the
amount of oxygen required by the organisms in the system to oxidize the organic material.

The DO concentration in the aeration tank must be sufficient to sustain at ALL times the desirable
microorganisms in the aeration tank, clarifier, and return sludge line back to the aeration tank.
When oxygen limits the growth of microorganisms, filamentous organisms may predominate and
the settleability and quality of the activated sludge may be poor.

On the other hand, over aeration can create excess turbulence and may result in the breakup of the
biological floc and waste energy. Poor settling and high effluent solids will result. For these
reasons, it is very important to periodically monitor and adjust the aeration tank DO levels and, for
diffused air systems, the air flow rates.

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In practice, the DO concentration in the aeration tank should normally be maintained at about 1.5 to
4 mg/L in all areas of the aeration tank at all times for adequate microorganism activity. Poor sludge
settling as a result of filamentous organisms has been associated with mixed liquor DO
concentrations below 0.5 mg/L. Above 4 mg/L, treatment usually does not significantly improve but
power usage increases aeration costs considerably.

RAS Control
To properly operate the activated sludge process, a good settling mixed liquor must be achieved
and maintained. The MLSS are settled in a clarifier and then returned to the aeration tank as the
RAS. This keeps a sufficient concentration of activated sludge in the aeration tanks so that the
required degree of treatment can be obtained in the allotted time period. The return of activated
sludge from the secondary clarifier to the aeration tank is a key control parameter of the process.

The secondary clarifiers have two basic functions:

♦ to clarify the secondary effluent through solids/liquid separation; and

♦ to rapidly collect and thicken the settled solids for return to the aeration tanks or wasting to
the sludge processing facilities.

Secondary clarifier weir

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Constant Rate Versus Constant Percentage Return
There are two basic ways for returning sludge to the aeration tank:

♦ at a constant rate, independent of the secondary influent flow rate, and

♦ at a constant percentage of the varying secondary influent flow.

Clarifier size and hydraulics may limit the range of practical return adjustments. Regardless of
calculated values, return rates should not be reduced to the level where slowly moving, thick
clarifier sludge will plug the sludge withdrawal pipes. Also, low return rates during the night should
be increased to approach the anticipated higher return rates during the day before, rather than
after, the increased wastewater flows actually reach the plant. Increasing the return sludge flow
after the flow increase may cause a hydraulic overload condition resulting in a carryover of solids
in the clarifiers (washout).

Constant Rate Control

Returning activated sludge at a constant flow rate that is independent of the secondary influent
wastewater flow rate results in a continuously varying MLSS concentration that will be at a
minimum during peak secondary influent flows and a maximum during minimum secondary
influent flows. The aeration tank and the secondary clarifier must be looked at as a system where
the MLSS are stored in the aeration tank during minimum wastewater flow and then transferred to
the clarifier as the wastewater flow and then transferred to the clarifier as the wastewater flows
initially increase.

The clarifier acts as a storage reservoir for the MLSS during periods of high flow. The clarifier has
a constantly changing depth of sludge blanket as the MLSS moves from the aeration tank to the
clarifier and vice versa.

Constant Percentage Control

The second approach is to pace the return flow at a fixed percentage of the influent wastewater
flow rate (Q), at a constant R/Q. This may be done automatically with instruments, or manually
with frequent adjustments. This approach keeps the MLSS and sludge blanket depths more
constant throughout high and low flow periods and also tends to maintain a more constant F/M
and MCRT.

The settleability test can be
used to estimate the
desirable sludge return rate.
This method uses the sludge
volume in a 2-L settleometer
at the end of a 30-minute
settling period to represent
the underflow and the
supernatant volume to
represent the overflow.

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Rotating Biological Contactors RBC
Rotating Biological Contactors is a remediation technology used
in the secondary treatment of wastewater. This technology
involves allowing wastewater to come in contact with a biological
medium in order to facilitate the removal of contaminants.

In its simplest form, a rotating biological contactor consists of a

series of discs or media blocks mounted on a shaft which is
driven so that the media rotates at right angles to the flow of
sewage. The discs or media blocks are normally made of plastic
(polythene, PVC, expanded polystyrene) and are contained in a
trough or tank so that about 40% of their area is immersed.

The biological growth that becomes attached to the media assimilates the organic materials in the
wastewater. Aeration is provided by the rotating action, which exposes the media to the air after
contacting them with the wastewater. The degree of wastewater treatment is related to the amount
of media surface area and the quality and volume of the inflowing wastewater.

Rotating Biological Contactors can be supplied as part of an integral package plant to treat
sewage from various communities. Integral units are provided in sizes of up to a 500 population
equivalent. A smaller version is also available for small private installations.

Modular systems can also be adapted to cater to populations of any number.

Multiple units have been used for populations in excess of 5000.

Each plant is designed to meet the specific requirements of the site and the effluent quality

Key Advantages
• Short contact periods are required because of the large active surface.

• Capable of handling a wide range of flows.

• Sloughed biomass generally has good settling characteristics and can easily be
separated from the waste stream.

• Operating costs are low, as little skill is required in plant operation.

• Retention times are short.

• Low power requirements.

• Low sludge production and excellent process control.

White biomass over most of a RBC disc can be resolved by increasing the age of the sludge.

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RBC Principles
The principles of the rotating biological contactor originated in the early 1900's but its application to
sewage treatment did not occur until the 1960's when the present system was developed. The
process employed relies on the well-established principle of biological oxidation using naturally
occurring organisms to ensure that even the most stringent effluent standards can be achieved.
Primary Settlement Zone

Rotating Biological Contactors

Incoming flows of crude sewage enter the RBC primary settlement zone, which is designed to
have a buffering capacity of balancing flows up to 6DWF.

Settlement solids are retained in the tank's lower region whilst the partially clarified liquor
passes forward to the biozone where it makes contact with the slowly rotating disks.
Installation of Rotating Biological Contactors

Rotating Biological Contactors are available in sizes from 1100mm

diameter up to 3800mm in diameter. The media packs that form
the rotors are manufactured from vacuum formed black
polyethylene sheets supported on the central shaft with a
galvanized steel framework. The central shaft is manufactured
from mild steel tube, protected internally against corrosion and
fitted with end stub shafts, which are supported on split bearings.

Gearbox and Drive mechanism →

Rotation is provided by a shaft mounted gearbox and motor fitted
at one end.

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The rotor assembly is suspended within the biozone with 40% of the diameter submerged in the
liquor at any one time. The disks slowly rotate and the continuous alternate exposure to air and
sewage results in a growth of organisms known as biomass which adheres to the disks. These
organisms occur naturally in the sewage and carry out the purification process by feeding off the
impurities present in the sewage. As they have a short life cycle, these organisms are continually
shearing off the rotating disks and pass from the biozone to the final zone.

The biozone is fitted with a series of baffles between each bank of media, this is to prevent short
circuiting and to ensure maximum performance.
Final Settlement Zone

The recently completed installation at Culbokie, for Scotland Water

The biomass passes from the biozone into the final settlement zone where it settles to form humus
sludge. This is then regularly pumped out using either an air lift system or submersible pumps and
returned to the primary zone.

The clarified liquid decants from the top of the tank as effluent that can be discharged to a reed bed
for further clarification or direct to a watercourse.

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An Operator preparing for the suspended solids test. A well-mixed sample is filtered through a
weighed standard glass-fiber filter and the residue retained on the filter is dried to a constant weight at 103
to 105°C. The increase in weight of the filter represents the total suspended solids. If the suspended
material clogs the filter and prolongs filtration, it may be necessary to increase the diameter of the filter or
decrease the sample volume. To obtain an estimate of total suspended solids, calculate the difference
between total dissolved solids and total solids.

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Operator Section Highlights
A Parshall flume measures flow by the rise or head produced.

The Air to solids ratio affects the performance of a dissolved air flotation unit.

An Air Gap device or method is the best prevention of potable water contamination.

Gasoline and volatile organic solvents present in the sewer may cause: Corrosion of the sewer,
Increase resistance of flow, Precipitation of waste solids in the sewer and Serious explosion

If the level of Carbon Dioxide increases in an anaerobic digester the pH will decrease.

In any type of centrifuge thickener, increasing the bowl speed (RPM) will produce a thicker sludge

Monthly reports are used in the preparation of the annual reports. Sludge pumped, solids
concentration information should be included in this report about the primary clarifiers.

One way to hold down cost is to have a good, well organized maintenance program. The program
would include all the following: Inventory, Completed work orders and Equipment repaired.

Solids can pass under the effluent baffle and into the effluent might occur if the sludge blanket in
a dissolved air flotation unit is allowed to build up and drop too far below the surface of the liquid.

The application of a free draining, non-cohesive material such as diatomaceous earth to a filtering
media is known as Binding.

The following conditions are likely to occur if a weir at the headworks is used to measure flow:
Dead water space will occur upstream of the weir, Organic deposits may cause odor problems
and Solids deposition will cause inaccurate flow measurements.

The following items will cause turbidity in wastewater: Inorganic matter, Grit and finely divided
organic matter.

The two main types of centrifuges used are: Basket and scroll.

When entering a manhole the rungs inside may be: Corroded and unsafe to use.

Sulfur dioxide is the most commonly used chemical for dechlorination.

Denitrification best describes an anoxic process that occurs when nitrite or nitrate ions are
reduced to nitrogen gas and nitrogen bubbles are formed as a result.

In an aeration tank, nitrification is most likely to occur when: there is plenty of DO available.

One way to freshen the wastewater and separate oils and grease is to add pre-aeration.

Manual bar screens require frequent attention. Head loss would happen to the flow if debris was
allowed to collect on the bars.

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Laboratory Highlights
When reading an acid level from a glass buret, the measurement is taken at the bottom of the

Increasing the air flow in the reaeration zone by decreasing the RAS flow or decreasing the WAS flow
to decrease the F/M. These process changes will lower the SVI.

Operators’ use lab analysis, equipment maintenance logs, and process control logs to monitor plant

Percent by concentration is the form that you report solids analysis.

Polyelectrolytes are high-molecular-weight substances that are formed by either a natural or synthetic

Shake or mix a sample before performing a suspended solids test.

The recommended preservation for Ammonia is to add H2SO4, pH <2, and store at 4°C.

The volatile solids test measures the amount of organic material when it is performed on solids.

The Winkler Method is used for analyzing DO.

Volatile liquids will vaporize or evaporate easily at room temperature.

When mixing Lime to sludge for dewatering, the pH should be 11.5 to 12.0.

When monitoring for changes in the effluent water quality an operator may use a nephelometric
instrumental procedure to determine Turbidity.

When running a Suspended Solids test, seal the filter paper to the funnel by passing about 20 ml of
distilled water through the vacuum pump.

When using dry polymer dosages to perform a Jar test, it is suggested to increase the chemical
increments by 5 lbs. to a ton.

You should take measurements of the DO in an aerobic digester with a probe in least 3 to 5 locations
to monitor plant performance.

Trickling Filter Highlights

A trickling filter process is experiencing minor ponding problems on part of the media surface. The
Operator should increase the recirculation rate over the surface. The more familiar an operator
becomes with the operation of a pond, the more accurate they become with visual observations. A
deep green sparkling color could indicate Industrial facilities or operations.

While inspecting a trickling filter the rotating distributor should be: Stopped and tied down before you
climb onto the media. Providing adequate ventilation to the filter media is one of the designed
purposes of an under drain system in a trickling filter.

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Procedure for Dissolved Oxygen Determination

1. Collect a water sample in the clean 300-ml glass stoppered BOD bottle for two or
three minutes to make sure there are no air bubbles trapped in the bottle. Do one Tap
water sample and one DI water sample. Mark the BOD bottles.

2. Insert the DO probe from the meter into your BOD bottles. Record the DO for Tap
and DI water. Now continue with the Winkler Buret method.


3. Add the contents of one MANGANESE SULFATE powder pillow and one
ALKALINE IODIDE-AZIDE reagent powder pillow to each of your BOD bottles (TAP
and DI)

4. Immediately insert the stoppers so that no air is trapped in the bottles and invert
several times to mix. A flocculent precipitate will form. It will be brownish-orange if
dissolved oxygen is present or white if oxygen is absent.

5. Allow the samples to stand until the floc has settled and leaves the solution clear
(about 10 minutes). Again invert the bottles several times to mix and let stand until the
solution is clear.

6. Remove the stoppers and add the contents of one SULFAMIC ACID powder
pillow to each bottle. Replace the stoppers, being careful not to trap any air bubbles in
the bottles, and invert several times to mix. The floc will dissolve and leave a yellow
color if dissolved oxygen is present.

7. Measure 200 ml of the prepared solution by filling a clean 250-ml graduated

cylinder to the 200-ml mark. Pour the solutions into clean 250-ml Erlenmeyer flasks.
Save the last 100 mls for a duplicate.

8. Titrate the prepared solutions with PAO Titrant, 0.025N, to a pale yellow color.
Use a white paper under the flask.

9. Add two droppers full of Starch Indicator Solution and swirl to mix. A dark blue
color will develop.

10. Continue the titration until the solution changes from dark blue to colorless (end
point). Go Slow- drop by drop. Record the buret reading to the nearest 0.01mls.

11. The total number of ml of PAO Titrant used is equal to the mg/L dissolved oxygen.

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Dissolved Oxygen

1. Deionized water ___________________________________mg/L

2. Tap water ___________________________________mg/L

3. What is the meter procedure measuring?

4. What factors would determine which is the best method to use?

5. What are two forms of bacteria present in a wastewater digester?


6. Deionized Water
200ml final Buret reading-
Sample initial Buret reading- -_______________ = ______________mg/L

100ml final Buret reading-

duplicate initial Buret reading- -______________dup=_____________mg/L
mls x 2

7. Tap water
200ml final Buret reading-
Sample initial Buret reading- -______________=________________mg/L
100ml final Buret reading-
Sample initial Buret reading- -______________=_________________mg/L
mls x 2

8. What are some factors that can alter the DO content prior to testing?

9. Were your samples anaerobic or aerobic?

10. Why is it important to monitor the (DO) content of water and wastewater? Be
Specific and give a detailed explanation.

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Sludge Volume Index (SVI)
Sludge Volume Index Lab
The Sludge Volume Index (SVI) of activated sludge is
defined as the volume in milliliters occupied by 1g of
activated sludge after settling for 30 minutes. The lower the
(SVI), the better is the settling quality of the aerated mixed
liquor. Likewise, high (SVI) of 100 or less is considered a
good settling sludge.

The results obtained from the suspended matter test and
settleability test on aerated mixed liquor are used to obtain
the SVI.

SVI= ml/L of sludge in settled mixed liquor in 30 min x 1000 mg/g
mg/L of suspended matter in mixed liquor

At last! Automated sludge volume index monitoring

Your wastewater treatment facility relies on timely monitoring of pH, flow, phosphate, ammonia,
nitrate, or DO. Now, real-time assessment of sludge conditions with the new OptiQuant SVI™ Sludge
Volume and Sludge Volume Index Analyzer complements these key control parameters.
Gone are manual samplings and hasty trips to the lab for analysis – it lets operators operate! No
more re-mixing, dilutions, or questionable results. The SVI Analyzer's in-situ sampling yields an
accurate, representative sample. It automatically detects bulking that signals upset conditions, gives
operators better indication of upset root cause and
corrective action, and provides on-the-spot response
to chemical dosing adjustments. And the SVI
Analyzer doesn't make more work for operators,
because its unique sampling vessel construction
discourages fouling. For complete information contact
Hach at WWW.Hach.Com.
Operators select graphical or numeric SVI controller
display. The controller and sampling vessel provide
sludge volume monitoring, while an optional
OptiQuant™ TS-line suspended solids probe allows
automatic calculation of sludge volume index.

The term MLSS is usually limited to mixed liquor sampled and analyzed for total
suspended solids and used as a control for treatment plants using a suspended growth
process. While the test method for MLSS is identical to the test method for TSS

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Suspended Matter for Mixed Liquor and Return Sludge
Suspended matter in mixed liquor and return sludge can be used to determine process status,
estimate the quantity of biomass, and evaluate the results of process adjustments.

- Buchner funnel and adaptor
- Filter flask
- Filter paper 110 mm diam, Whatman 1-4
- 1030 drying oven
- Desiccator
- Balance
- Graduated Cylinder

1. Dry the filter papers in oven at 1030 c to remove all traces of moisture.
2. Remove papers from oven and desiccate to cool for approximately 5 minutes.
3. Weigh to the nearest 0.01g and record the mass (W1)
4. Place the paper in the bottom of the Buchner funnel and carefully arrange so that the
outer edges lay snugly along the side. Careful not to touch it with your finger. Use a glass rod.
Wet the paper, turn on the vacuum and make a good seal, make a pocket covering the bottom of
the funnel.
5. Add 20 to 100 mls of sample at a sufficient rate to keep the bottom of the funnel covered,
but not fast enough to overflow the pocket made by the filter paper. Record the Volume used.
6. Remove the filter paper with tweezers. Dry in a 1030 c oven for 30 minutes. Remove and
desiccate. Reweigh the filter paper (W2) to the nearest 0.01g.


mg/L Suspended Matter

(W2 ) - (W1) x 1000 ML/L

ML Sample

Where: (W1) and (W2) are expressed in mg.

(W1) = mass of the prepared filter.
(W2) = mass of the filter and sample after the filtration step.

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Settleability Lab
The settled sludge volume of a biological suspension is useful for routine activated sludge plant
control. Variations in temperature, sampling and agitation methods, diameter of settling column, and
time between sampling and start of the test can significantly affect results. The same procedure and
apparatus should be used each time the test is performed.

-Two settling columns with a minimum volume of 1000 ml
- A 1000 ml or larger graduated cylinder or Mallory settlometer may be used as a settling

The settle ability test on activated sludge should be run immediately after the sample is taken.
The mixed liquor sample should be taken at the effluent end of the aeration tanks, while the
return sludge sample should be taken at some point between the final settling tank and the point
at which the sludge is mixed with primary effluent.

1. Determine the settle ability of mixed liquor and

return sludge by allowing 1000 mls of well mixed
samples of each to settle in 1000 ml grad. Cylinder or
Mallory settleometer. Care should be taken to minimize
floc break up during the transfer of the sample to the

2. After 30 minutes, record the volume

occupied by the sludge to the nearest 5 ml.

3. The reading at the end of 30 minutes is

generally used for plant control. Although the
settle ability test on return sludge is not used in any of
the calculations for activated sludge, the result is
helpful in determining whether too much or to little
sludge is being returned from the final settling tank.

Calculation: % Settled Sludge

ml of sludge in settled mixed liquor or return sludge x 100


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Sludge Volume Index Lab Report Worksheet
Suspended Mater Calculations:

(W1) = mg Duplicate (W1) = mg

(W2) = mg (W2) = mg

mls Sample = mls Sample = .

mg/L suspended matter = dup. .

Settleability Calculations:

% settled sludge = ________________________

(ml of sludge in settled mixed liquor or returned sludge x 100)


Sludge Volume Index Calculations:

(ml of sludge in settled mixed liquor in 30 minutes x 1000 mg/g)

mg/L of suspended matter in mixed liquor

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Chlorine Chapter 3
Chlorine Section

2 Ton Cylinders
The top lines are for extracting the gas, and the bottom lines are for extracting the Cl2
liquid. Never place water on a leaking metal cylinder. The water will create acid which will
make the leak larger.

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150 Pound Chlorine Cylinder

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* Formula: Cl(2)
* Structure: Not applicable.
* Synonyms: Bertholite, molecular chlorine

1. CAS No.: 7782-50-5
2. RTECS No.: FO2100000
3. DOT UN: 1017 20
4. DOT label: Poison gas

Appearance and odor

Chlorine is a greenish-yellow gas with a
characteristic pungent odor. It condenses to an amber liquid at approximately -34 degrees C (-
29.2 degrees F) or at high pressures. Odor thresholds ranging from 0.08 to part per million (ppm)
parts of air have been reported. Prolonged exposures may result in olfactory fatigue.

Chemical and Physical Properties

Physical data
1. Molecular weight: 70.9
2. Boiling point (at 760 mm Hg): -34.6 degrees C (-30.28 degrees F)
3. Specific gravity (liquid): 1.41 at 20 degrees C (68 degrees F) and a pressure of 6.86 atm
4. Vapor density: 2.5
5. Melting point: -101 degrees C (-149.8 degrees F)
6. Vapor pressure at 20 degrees C (68 degrees F): 4,800 mm Hg
7. Solubility: Slightly soluble in water; soluble in alkalies, alcohols, and chlorides.
8. Evaporation rate: Data not available.

1. Conditions contributing to instability: Cylinders of chlorine may burst when exposed to
elevated temperatures. Chlorine in solution forms a corrosive material.

2. Incompatibilities: Flammable gases and vapors form explosive mixtures with chlorine.
Contact between chlorine and many combustible substances (such as gasoline and petroleum
products, hydrocarbons, turpentine, alcohols, acetylene, hydrogen, ammonia, and sulfur),
reducing agents, and finely divided metals may cause fires and explosions. Contact between
chlorine and arsenic, bismuth, boron, calcium, activated carbon, carbon disulfide, glycerol,
hydrazine, iodine, methane, oxomonosilane, potassium, propylene, and silicon should be
avoided. Chlorine reacts with hydrogen sulfide and water to form hydrochloric acid, and it reacts
with carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide to form phosgene and sulfuryl chloride. Chlorine is also
incompatible with moisture, steam, and water.

3. Hazardous decomposition products: None reported.

4. Special precautions: Chlorine will attack some forms of plastics, rubber, and coatings.

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Chlorine is a non-combustible gas.
The National Fire Protection Association has assigned a flammability rating of 0 (no fire hazard)
to chlorine; however, most combustible materials will burn in chlorine.
1. Flash point: Not applicable.
2. Autoignition temperature: Not applicable.
3. Flammable limits in air: Not applicable.
4. Extinguishant: For small fires use water only; do not use dry chemical or carbon dioxide.
Contain and let large fires involving chlorine burn. If fire must be fought, use water spray or fog.

Fires involving chlorine should be fought upwind from the maximum distance possible.

Keep unnecessary people away; isolate the hazard area and deny entry. For a massive fire in a
cargo area, use unmanned hose holders or monitor nozzles; if this is impossible, withdraw from
the area and let the fire burn. Emergency personnel should stay out of low areas and ventilate
closed spaces before entering.

Containers of chlorine may explode in the heat of the fire and should be moved from the fire area
if it is possible to do so safely. If this is not possible, cool fire exposed containers from the sides
with water until well after the fire is out. Stay away from the ends of containers. Firefighters
should wear a full set of protective clothing and self- contained breathing apparatus when fighting
fires involving chlorine.

Exposure Limits

The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit
(PEL) for chlorine is 1 ppm (3 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m(3))) as a ceiling limit. A worker's
exposure to chlorine shall at no time exceed this ceiling level [29 CFR 1910.1000, Table Z-1].

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has established a
recommended exposure limit (REL) for chlorine of 0.5 ppm mg/m(3)) as a TWA for up to a 10-
hour workday and a 40-hour workweek and a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 1 ppm (3
mg/m(3))[NIOSH 1992].

The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has assigned chlorine
a threshold limit value (TLV) of 0.5 ppm (1.5 mg/m(3)) as a TWA for a normal 8-hour workday
and a 40-hour workweek and a short-term exposure limit (STEL) of 1.0 ppm (2.9 mg/m(3)) for
periods not to exceed 15 minutes. Exposures at the STEL concentration should not be repeated
more than four times a day and should be separated by intervals of at least 60 minutes [ACGIH
1994, p. 15].

* Rationale for Limits

The NIOSH limits are based on the risk of severe eye, mucous membrane and skin irritation
[NIOSH 1992]. The ACGIH limits are based on the risk of eye and mucous membrane irritation
[ACGIH 1991, p. 254].

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Risks and Benefits of Chlorine
Current evidence indicates that the benefits of chlorinating our wastewater — reduced incidence
of water-borne diseases — are much greater than the risks of health effects from THMs. Although
other disinfectants are available, chlorine continues to be the choice of wastewater treatment
experts. When used with modern water filtration practices, chlorine is effective against virtually all
infective agents — bacteria, viruses and protozoa. It is easy to apply, and, most importantly,
small amounts of chlorine remain in the water and continue to disinfect throughout the distribution
system. This ensures that the water remains free of microbial contamination on its journey from
the wastewater treatment plant to the final destination.

A number of cities use ozone to disinfect their source water and to reduce THM formation.
Although ozone is a highly effective disinfectant, it breaks down quickly, so that small amounts of
chlorine or other disinfectants must be added to the water to ensure continued disinfection.
Modifying wastewater treatment facilities to use ozone can be expensive, and ozone treatment
can create other undesirable by-products that may be harmful to health if they are not controlled
(e.g., bromate).

Examples of other disinfectants include chloramines and chlorine dioxide. Chloramines are
weaker disinfectants than chlorine, especially against viruses and protozoa; however, they
are very persistent and, as such, can be useful for preventing re-growth of microbial
pathogens in drinking water distribution systems.

Chlorine dioxide can be an effective disinfectant, but it forms chlorate and chlorite,
compounds whose toxicity has not yet been fully determined. Assessments of the health risks
from these and other chlorine-based disinfectants and chlorination by-products are currently
under way.

In general, the preferred method of controlling chlorination by-products is removal of the naturally
occurring organic matter from the source water so it cannot react with the chlorine to form by-
products. THM levels may also be reduced through the replacement of chlorine with alternative
disinfectants. A third option is removal of the by-products by adsorption on activated carbon beds.
It is extremely important that wastewater treatment plants ensure that methods used to control
chlorination by-products do not compromise the effectiveness of wastewater disinfection.

Chlorine Piping and chlorine cylinder yoke

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Health Hazard Information
Routes of Exposure
Exposure to chlorine can occur through inhalation, ingestion, and eye or skin contact [Genium

Summary of toxicology
1. Effects on Animals: Chlorine is a severe irritant of the eyes, mucous membranes, skin, and
lungs in experimental animals. The 1 hour LC(50) is 239 ppm in rats and 137 ppm in mice ()[Sax
and Lewis 1989]. Animals surviving sub-lethal inhalation exposures for 15 to 193 days showed
marked emphysema, which was associated with bronchiolitis and pneumonia [Clayton and
Clayton 1982]. Chlorine injected into the anterior chamber of rabbits' eyes resulted in severe
damage with inflammation, opacification of the cornea, atrophy of the iris, and injury to the lens
[Grant 1986].

2. Effects on Humans: Severe acute effects of chlorine exposure in humans have been well
documented since World War I when chlorine gas was used as a chemical warfare agent. Other
severe exposures have resulted from the accidental rupture of chlorine tanks. These exposures
have caused death, lung congestion, and pulmonary edema, pneumonia, pleurisy, and bronchitis
[Hathaway et al. 1991]. The lowest lethal concentration reported is 430 ppm for 30 minutes
[Clayton and Clayton 1982].

Exposure to 15 ppm causes throat irritation, exposures to 50 ppm are dangerous, and exposures
to 1000 ppm can be fatal, even if exposure is brief [Sax and Lewis 1989; Clayton and Clayton
1982]. Earlier literature reported that exposure to a concentration of about 5 ppm caused
respiratory complaints, corrosion of the teeth, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the
nose and susceptibility to tuberculosis among chronically-exposed workers.

However, many of these effects are not confirmed in recent studies and are of very dubious
significance [ACGIH 1991]. A study of workers exposed to chlorine for an average of 10.9 years
was published in 1970. All but six workers had exposures below 1 ppm; 21 had TWAs above 0.52

No evidence of permanent lung damage was found, but 9.4 percent had abnormal EKGs
compared to 8.2 percent in the control group. The incidence of fatigue was greater among those
exposed above 0.5 ppm [ACGIH 1991]. In 1981, a study was published involving 29 subjects
exposed to chlorine concentrations up to 2.0 ppm for 4- and 8-hour periods. Exposures of 1.0
ppm for 8 hours produced statistically significant changes in pulmonary function that were not
observed at a 0.5 ppm exposure concentration. Six of 14 subjects exposed to 1.0 ppm for 8 hours
showed increased mucous secretions from the nose and in the hypopharynx.

Responses for sensations of itching or burning of the nose and eyes, and general discomfort
were not severe, but were perceptible, especially at the 1.0 ppm exposure level [ACGIH 1991]. A
1983 study of pulmonary function at low concentrations of chlorine exposure also found transient
decreases in pulmonary function at the 1.0 ppm exposure level, but not at the 0.5 ppm level
[ACGIH 1991]. Acne (chloracne) is not unusual among persons exposed to low concentrations of
chlorine for long periods of time. Tooth enamel damage may also occur [Parmeggiani 1983].
There has been one confirmed case of myasthenia gravis associated with chlorine exposure
[NLM 1995].

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Signs and Symptoms of Exposure
1. Acute exposure: Acute exposure to low levels of chlorine results in eye, nose, and throat
irritation, sneezing, excessive salivation, general excitement, and restlessness. Higher
concentrations causes difficulty in breathing, violent coughing, nausea, vomiting, cyanosis,
dizziness, headache, choking, laryngeal edema, acute tracheobronchitis, chemical pneumonia.
Contact with the liquid can result in frostbite burns of the skin and eyes [Genium 1992].
2. Chronic exposure: Chronic exposure to low levels of chlorine gas can result in a dermatitis
known as chloracne, tooth enamel corrosion, coughing, severe chest pain, sore throat,
hemoptysis and increased susceptibility to tuberculosis [Genium 1992].

Emergency Medical Procedures: [NIOSH to supply]

1. Rescue: Remove an incapacitated worker from further exposure and implement
appropriate emergency procedures (e.g., those listed on the Material Safety Data
Sheet required by OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard [29 CFR 1910.1200]).
2. All workers should be familiar with emergency procedures, the location and proper
use of emergency equipment, and methods of protecting themselves during rescue

Exposure Sources and Control Methods

The following operations may involve chlorine and lead to worker exposures to this

The Manufacture and Transportation of Chlorine

Use as a chlorinating and oxidizing agent in organic and inorganic synthesis; in the
manufacture of chlorinated solvents, automotive antifreeze and antiknock compounds,
polymers (synthetic rubber and plastics), resins, elastomers, pesticides, refrigerants, and
in the manufacture of rocket fuel.
Use as a fluxing, purification, and extraction agent in metallurgy.
Use as a bacteriostat, disinfectant, odor control, and demulsifier in treatment of drinking
water, swimming pools, and in sewage.
Use in the paper and pulp, and textile industries for bleaching cellulose for artificial fibers;
use in the manufacture of chlorinated lime; use in de-tinning and de-zincing iron; use to
shrink-proof wool.
Use in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, lubricants, flameproofing,
adhesives, in special batteries containing lithium or zinc, and in hydraulic fluids; use in the
processing of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.
Use as bleaching and cleaning agents, and as a disinfectant in laundries, dishwashers,
cleaning powders, cleaning dairy equipment, and bleaching cellulose.
Methods that are effective in controlling worker exposures to chlorine, depending on the
feasibility of implementation, are as follows: Process enclosure Local exhaust ventilation
General dilution ventilation Personal protective equipment.

Workers responding to a release or potential release of a hazardous substance must be

protected as required by paragraph (q) of OSHA's Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency
Response Standard 29 CFR.

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Good Sources of Information about Control Methods are as Follows:
1. ACGIH [1992]. Industrial ventilation--a manual of recommended practice. 21st ed.
Cincinnati, OH: American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
2. Burton DJ [1986]. Industrial ventilation--a self study companion. Cincinnati, OH: American
Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.
3. Alden JL, Kane JM [1982]. Design of industrial ventilation systems. New York, NY:
Industrial Press, Inc.
4. Wadden RA, Scheff PA [1987]. Engineering design for control of workplace hazards. New
York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
5. Plog BA [1988]. Fundamentals of industrial hygiene. Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.

Chlorine Storage
Chlorine should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area in tightly sealed containers that are
labeled in accordance with OSHA's Hazard Communication Standard [29 CFR 1910.1200].
Containers of chlorine should be protected from exposure to weather, extreme temperatures
changes, and physical damage, and they should be stored separately from flammable gases and
vapors, combustible substances (such as gasoline and petroleum products, hydrocarbons,
turpentine, alcohols, acetylene, hydrogen, ammonia, and sulfur), reducing agents, finely divided
metals, arsenic, bismuth, boron, calcium, activated carbon, carbon disulfide, glycerol, hydrazine,
iodine, methane, oxomonosilane, potassium, propylene, silicon, hydrogen sulfide and water,
carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, moisture, steam, and water.

Workers handling and operating chlorine containers, cylinders, and tank

wagons should receive special training in standard safety procedures for
handling compressed corrosive gases. All pipes and containment used for
chlorine service should be regularly inspected and tested. Empty containers
of chlorine should have secured protective covers on their valves and should
be handled appropriately.

Spills and Leaks

In the event of a spill or leak involving chlorine,
persons not wearing protective equipment and fully-
encapsulating, vapor-protective clothing should be
restricted from contaminated areas until cleanup has
been completed. The following steps should be
undertaken following a spill or leak:
1. Notify safety personnel.
2. Remove all sources of heat and ignition.
3. Keep all combustibles (wood, paper, oil, etc.) away
from the leak.
4. Ventilate potentially explosive atmospheres.
5. Evacuate the spill area for at least 50 feet in all directions.
6. Find and stop the leak if this can be done without risk; if not, move the leaking container to an
isolated area until gas has dispersed. The cylinder may be allowed to empty through a reducing
agent such as sodium bisulfide and sodium bicarbonate.
7. Use water spray to reduce vapors; do not put water directly on the leak or spill area.

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Special Requirements
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements for emergency planning,
reportable quantities of hazardous releases, community right-to-know, and hazardous waste
management may change over time. Users are therefore advised to determine periodically
whether new information is available.

Emergency Planning Requirements

Employers owning or operating a facility at which there are 100 pounds or more of chlorine
must comply with the EPA's emergency planning requirements [40 CFR Part 355.30].

Reportable Quantity Requirements for Hazardous Releases

A hazardous substance release is defined by the EPA as any spilling, leaking, pumping, pouring,
emitting, emptying, discharging, injecting, escaping, leaching, dumping, or disposing into the
environment including the abandonment or discarding of contaminated containers) of hazardous
substances. In the event of a release that is above the reportable quantity for that chemical,
employers are required to notify the proper Federal, State, and local authorities [40 CFR

The Reportable Quantity of Chlorine is 10 Pounds.

If an amount equal to or greater than this quantity is released within a 24-hour period in a manner
that will expose persons outside the facility, employers are required to do the following:

Notify the National Response Center immediately at (800) or at (202) 426-2675 in Washington,
D.C. [40 CFR 302.6]. Notify the emergency response commission of the State likely to be
affected by the release [40 CFR 355.40]. Notify the community emergency coordinator of the
local emergency planning committee (or relevant local emergency response personnel) of any
area likely to be affected by the release [40 CFR 355.40].

Community Right-to-Know Requirements

Employers who own or operate facilities in SIC codes 20 to 39
that employ 10 or more workers and that manufacture 25,000
pounds or more of chlorine per calendar year or otherwise use
10,000 pounds or more of chlorine per calendar year are
required by EPA [40 CFR Part 372.30] to submit a Toxic
Chemical Release Inventory form (Form R) to the EPA reporting
the amount of chlorine emitted or released from their facility

Hazardous Waste Management Requirements

EPA considers a waste to be hazardous if it exhibits any of the
following characteristics: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or
toxicity as defined in 40 CFR 261.21-261.24. Under the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) [40 USC
6901 et seq.], the EPA has specifically listed many chemical
wastes as hazardous. Although chlorine is not specifically listed
as a hazardous waste under RCRA, the EPA requires
employers to treat waste as hazardous if it exhibits any of the characteristics discussed above.
Providing detailed information about the removal and disposal of specific chemicals is beyond the
scope of this guideline. The U.S. Department of Transportation, the EPA, and State and local
regulations should be followed to ensure that removal, transport, and disposal of this substance

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are conducted in accordance with existing regulations.
Chlorine Gas
Background: Chlorine gas is a pulmonary irritant with intermediate water
solubility that causes acute damage in the upper and lower respiratory tract.
Chlorine gas was first used as a chemical weapon at Ypres, France in 1915.
Of the 70,552 American soldiers poisoned with various gasses in World War
I, 1843 were exposed to chlorine gas. Approximately 10.5 million tons and
over 1 million containers of chlorine are shipped in the U.S. each year.

Chlorine is a yellowish-green gas at standard temperature and pressure. It is extremely reactive

with most elements. Because its density is greater than that of air, the gas settles low to the
ground. It is a respiratory irritant, and it burns the skin. Just a few breaths of it are fatal. Cl2 gas
does not occur naturally, although Chlorine can be found in a number of compounds.

Pathophysiology: Chlorine is a greenish-yellow, noncombustible gas at room temperature and

atmospheric pressure. The intermediate water solubility of chlorine accounts for its effect on the
upper airway and the lower respiratory tract.

Exposure to chlorine gas may be prolonged because its moderate water solubility may not
cause upper airway symptoms for several minutes. In addition, the density of the gas is greater
than that of air, causing it to remain near ground level and increasing exposure time. The odor
threshold for chlorine is approximately 0.3-0.5 parts per million (ppm); however, distinguishing
toxic air levels from permissible air levels may be difficult until irritative symptoms are present.

Mechanism of Activity
The mechanisms of the above biological activity are poorly understood and the predominant
anatomic site of injury may vary, depending on the chemical species produced. Cellular injury is
believed to result from the oxidation of functional groups in cell components, from reactions with
tissue water to form hypochlorous and hydrochloric acid, and from the generation of free oxygen

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Although the idea that chlorine causes direct tissue damage by generating free oxygen radicals
was once accepted, this idea is now controversial. The cylinders on
the right contain chlorine gas. The gas comes out of the cylinder
through a gas regulator. The cylinders are on a scale that operators
use to measure the amount used each day. The chains are used to
prevent the tanks from falling over. Chlorine gas is stored in vented
rooms that have panic bar equipped doors. Operators have the
equipment necessary to reduce the impact of a gas leak, but rely on
trained emergency response teams to contain leaks.

Solubility Effects
Hydrochloric acid is highly soluble in water. The predominant targets
of the acid are the epithelia of the ocular conjunctivae and upper
respiratory mucus membranes. Hypochlorous acid is also highly water
soluble with an injury pattern similar to hydrochloric acid.
Hypochlorous acid may account for the toxicity of elemental chlorine
and hydrochloric acid to the human body.

Early Response to Chlorine Gas

Chlorine gas, when mixed with ammonia, reacts to form chloramine
gas. In the presence of water, chloramines decompose to ammonia
and hypochlorous acid or hydrochloric acid.

The early response to chlorine exposure depends on the (1) concentration of chlorine gas, (2)
duration of exposure, (3) water content of the tissues exposed, and (4) individual susceptibility.

Immediate Effects
The immediate effects of chlorine gas toxicity include acute inflammation of the conjunctivae,
nose, pharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi. Irritation of the airway mucosa leads to local edema
secondary to active arterial and capillary hyperemia. Plasma exudation results in filling the alveoli
with edema fluid, resulting in pulmonary congestion.

Pathological Findings
Pathologic findings are nonspecific. They include severe pulmonary edema, pneumonia, hyaline
membrane formation, multiple pulmonary thromboses, and ulcerative tracheobronchitis. The
hallmark of pulmonary injury associated with chlorine toxicity is pulmonary edema, manifested as
hypoxia. Noncardiogenic pulmonary edema is thought to occur when there is a loss of pulmonary
capillary integrity.

Chlorine Wrenches and Fusible Plugs

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Using DPD Method for Chlorine Residuals

Small portable chlorine measuring kit. The redder the mixture the “hotter” or stronger
the chlorine in solution.

Measuring Chlorine Residual

Chlorine residual is the amount of chlorine remaining in water that can be used for disinfection. A
convenient, simple and inexpensive way to measure chlorine residual is to use a small portable
kit with pre-measured packets of chemicals that are added to water.

(Make sure you buy a test kit using the DPD method, and not the outdated orthotolodine

Chlorine test kits are very useful in adjusting the chlorine dose you apply. You can measure
what chlorine levels are being found in your system (especially at the far ends).

Free chlorine residuals need to be checked and recorded daily. These results should be kept
on file for a health or regulatory agency inspection during a regular field visit.

The most accurate method for determining chlorine residuals to use the laboratory
ampermetric titration method.

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Amperometric Titration
The chlorination of water supplies and polluted waters serves primarily to destroy or deactivate
disease-producing microorganisms. A secondary benefit, particularly in treating drinking water, is
the overall improvement in water quality resulting from the reaction of chlorine with ammonia,
iron, manganese, sulfide, and some organic substances.

Chlorination may produce adverse effects. Taste and odor characteristics of phenols and other
organic compounds present in a water supply may be intensified. Potentially carcinogenic chloro-
organic compounds such as chloroform may be formed.

Combined chlorine formed on chlorination of ammonia- or amine-bearing waters adversely

affects some aquatic life. To fulfill the primary purpose of chlorination and to minimize any
adverse effects, it is essential that proper testing procedures be used with a foreknowledge of the
limitations of the analytical determination.

Chlorine applied to water in its molecular or hypochlorite form initially

undergoes hydrolysis to form free chlorine consisting of aqueous
molecular chlorine, hypochlorous acid, and hypochlorite ion. The
relative proportion of these free chlorine forms is pH- and
temperature-dependent. At the pH of most waters, hypochlorous acid
and hypochlorite ion will predominate.
Free chlorine reacts readily with ammonia and certain nitrogenous
compounds to form combined chlorine. With ammonia, chlorine
reacts to form the chloramines: monochloramine, dichloramine, and
nitrogen trichloride.
The presence and concentrations of these combined forms depend chiefly on pH, temperature,
initial chlorine-to-nitrogen ratio, absolute chlorine demand, and reaction time. Both free and
combined chlorine may be present simultaneously. Combined chlorine in water supplies may be
formed in the treatment of raw waters containing ammonia or by the addition of ammonia or
ammonium salts.

Chlorinated wastewater effluents, as well as certain chlorinated industrial effluents, normally

contain only combined chlorine. Historically the principal analytical problem has been to
distinguish between free and combined forms of chlorine.
Hach’s AutoCAT 9000™ Automatic Titrator is the newest solution to hit the disinfection industry –
a comprehensive, benchtop chlorine-measurement system that does it all: calibration, titration,
calculation, real-time graphs, graphic print output, even electrode cleaning. More a laboratory
assistant than an instrument, the AutoCAT 9000 gives you:
• High throughput: performs the titration and calculates concentration, all automatically.
• Forward titration: USEPA-accepted methods for free and total chlorine and chlorine
dioxide with chlorite.
• Back titration: USEPA-accepted method for total chlorine in wastewater.
• Accurate, yet convenient: the easiest way to complete ppb-level amperometric titration.

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Chemical Equations, Oxidation States and Balancing of Equations
Before we breakdown Chlorine and other chemicals, let’s start with this review of basic chemical

The common chemical equation could be A + B --> C + D. This is chemical A + chemical B, the
two reacting chemicals will go to products C + D etc.

The term “oxidation” originally meant a reaction in which oxygen combines chemically with
another substance, but its usage has long been broadened to include any reaction in which
electrons are transferred.

Oxidation and reduction always occur simultaneously (redox reactions), and the substance which
gains electrons is termed the oxidizing agent. For example, cupric ion is the oxidizing agent in the
reaction: Fe (metal) + Cu++ --> Fe++ + Cu (metal); here, two electrons (negative charges) are
transferred from the iron atom to the copper atom; thus the iron becomes positively charged (is
oxidized) by loss of two electrons while the copper receives the two electrons and becomes
neutral (is reduced).

Electrons may also be displaced within the molecule without being completely transferred away
from it. Such partial loss of electrons likewise constitutes oxidation in its broader sense and leads
to the application of the term to a large number of processes which at first sight might not be
considered to be oxidation’s. Reaction of a hydrocarbon with a halogen, for example, CH4 + 2 Cl -
-> CH3Cl + HCl, involves partial oxidation of the methane; halogen addition to a double bond is
regarded as an oxidation.

Dehydrogenation is also a form of oxidation, when two hydrogen atoms, each having one
electron, a removed from a hydrogen-containing organic compound by a catalytic reaction with air
or oxygen, as in oxidation of alcohol’s to aldehyde’s.

Oxidation Number
The number of electrons that must be added to or subtracted from an atom in a combined state to
convert it to the elemental form; i.e., in barium chloride (BaCl2) the oxidation number of barium is
+2 and of chlorine is -1. Many elements can exist in more than one oxidation state.

Now, let us look at some common ions. An ion is the reactive state of the chemical, and is
dependent on its place within the periodic table.

Have a look at the “periodic table of the elements”. It is arranged in columns of elements, there
are 18 columns. You can see column one, H, Li, Na, K etc. These all become ions as H+, Li+, K+,
etc. The next column, column 2, Be, Mg, Ca etc. become ions Be2+, Mg2+, Ca2+, etc. Column 18,
He, Ne, Ar, Kr are inert gases. Column 17, F, Cl, Br, I, ionize to a negative F-, Cl-, Br-, I-, etc.

What you need to memorize is the table of common ions, both positive ions and negative ions.

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Table of Common Ions
Positive Ions
Valency 1 Valency 2 Valency 3
lithium Li+ magnesium Mg2+ aluminum Al3+
sodium Na+ calcium Ca2+ iron III Fe3+
potassium K+ strontium Sr2+ chromium Cr3+
silver Ag+ barium Ba2+
hydronium H3O+ copper II Cu2+
(or hydrogen) H+ lead II Pb2+
ammonium NH4+ zinc Zn2+
copper I Cu+ manganese II Mn2+
mercury I Hg+ iron II Fe2+
tin II Sn2+
Negative Ions
Valency 1 Valency 2 Valency 3
- 2-
fluoride F oxide O phosphate PO43-
chloride Cl- sulfide S2-
bromide Br - carbonate CO32-
iodide I- sulfate SO42-
hydroxide OH- sulfite SO32-
nitrate NO3- dichromate Cr2O7-
bicarbonate HCO3- chromate CrO42-
bisulphate HSO4- oxalate C2O42-
nitrite NO2- thiosulfate S2O32-
chlorate ClO3- tetrathionate S4O62-
permanganate MnO4- HPO42-
hypochlorite OCl-
Positive ions will react with negative ions, and vice versa. This is the start of our
chemical reactions. For example:
Na+ + OH- --> NaOH (sodium hydroxide)
Na+ + Cl- --> NaCl (salt)
3H+ + PO43- --> H3PO4 (phosphoric acid)
2Na+ + S2O32- --> Na2S2O3

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You will see from these examples, that if an ion of one (+), reacts with an ion of one (-)
then the equation is balanced. However, an ion like PO43- (phosphate will require an ion of 3+
or an ion of one (+) (but needs three of these) to neutralize the 3- charge on the phosphate. So,
what you are doing is balancing the charges (+) or (-) to make them zero, or cancel each other

For example, aluminum exists in its ionic state as Al3+, it will react with many negatively charged
ions, examples: Cl-, OH-, SO42-, PO43-.

Let us do these examples, and balance them.

Al3+ + Cl- --> AlCl (incorrect)
Al3+ + 3Cl- --> AlCl3 (correct)

How did we work this out?

Al3+ has three positives (3+)
Cl- has one negative (-)
It will require 3 negative charges to cancel out the 3 positive charges on the aluminum
( Al3+).

When the left hand side of the equation is written, to balance the number of chlorine’s (Cl-)
required, the number 3 is placed in front of the ion concerned, in this case Cl-, becomes 3Cl-.

On the right hand side of the equation, where the ions have become a compound
(a chemical compound), the number is transferred to after the relevant ion, Cl3.

Another example:
Al3+ + SO42- --> AlSO4 (incorrect)
2Al3+ + 3SO42- --> Al2(SO4)3 (correct)

Let me give you an easy way of balancing:

Al is 3+
SO4 is 2-
Simply transpose the number of positives (or negatives) for each ion, to the other ion, by
placing this value of one ion, in front of the other ion. That is, Al3+ the 3 goes in front of the
SO42- as 3SO42-, and SO42-, the 2 goes in front of the Al3+ to become 2Al3+. Then on the right
hand side of the equation, this same number (now in front of each ion on the left side of the
equation), is placed after each “ion” entity.

Let us again look at:

Al3+ + SO42- --> AlSO4 (incorrect)
Al3+ + SO42- --> Al2(SO4)3 (correct)
Put the three from the Al in front of the SO42- and the 2 from the SO42- in front of the Al3+.

Equation becomes:
2Al3+ + 3SO42- --> Al2(SO4)3. You simply place the valency of one ion, as a whole number, in
front of the other ion, and vice versa. Remember to encase the SO4 in brackets. Why?
Because we are dealing with the sulfate ion, SO42-, and it is this ion that is 2- charged (not just
the O4), so we have to ensure that the “ion” is bracketed. Now to check, the 2 times 3+ = 6+,
and 3 times 2- = 6-. We have equal amounts of positive ions, and equal amounts of negative

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Another example:
NaOH + HCl --> ?
Na is Na+, OH is OH-, so this gave us NaOH. Originally the one positive canceled the one

HCl is H+ + Cl -, this gave us HCl.

Reaction is going to be the Na+ reacting with a negatively charged ion. This will have to be the
chlorine, Cl-, because at the moment the Na+ is tied to the OH-. So: Na+ + Cl- --> NaCl
The H+ from the HCl will react with a negative (-) ion this will be the OH- from the NaOH.
So: H+ + OH- --> H2O (water).

The complete reaction can be written:

NaOH + HCl --> NaCl + H2O. We have equal amounts of all atoms each side of the
equation, so the equation is balanced.
Na+OH- + H+Cl- --> Na+Cl- + H+OH-

Something More Difficult:

Mg(OH)2 + H3PO4 --> ? (equation on left not balanced)
Mg2+ 2OH- + 3H+PO43- --> ? (equation on left not balanced), so let us rewrite the equation in
ionic form.

The Mg2+ needs to react with a negatively charged ion, this will be the PO43-,
so: 3Mg2+ + 2PO43- --> Mg3(PO4)2
(Remember the swapping of the positive or negative charges on the ions in the left side of
the equation, and placing it in front of each ion, and then placing this number after each ion
on the right side of the equation)

What is left is the H+ from the H3PO4 and this will react with a negative ion, we only have the
OH- from the Mg(OH)2 left for it to react with.
6H+ + 6OH- --> 6H2O

Where did I get the 6 from? When I balanced the Mg2+ with the PO43-, the equation became
3Mg2+ + 2PO43- --> Mg3(PO4)2

Therefore, I must have required 3Mg(OH)2 to begin with, and 2H3PO4, ( because we originally
had (OH)2 attached to the Mg, and H3 attached to the PO4. I therefore have 2H3 reacting with
3(OH)2. We have to write this, on the left side of the equation, as 6H+ + 6OH- because we need
it in ionic form.
The equation becomes:
6H+ + 6OH- --> 6H2O

The full equation is now balanced and is:

3Mg(OH)2 + 2H3PO4 --> Mg3(PO4)2 + 6H2O
I have purposely split the equation into segments of reactions. This is showing you which ions are
reacting with each other. Once you get the idea of equations you will not need this step.

The balancing of equations is simple. You need to learn the valency of the common ions (see

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The rest is pure mathematics, you are balancing valency charges, positives versus negatives.
You have to have the same number of negatives, or positives, each side of the equation, and
the same number of ions or atoms each side of the equation.

If one ion, example Al3+, (3 positive charges) reacts with another ion, example OH- (one negative
ion) then we require 2 more negatively charged ions (in this case OH-) to counteract the 3
positive charges the Al3+ contains.

Take my earlier hint, place the 3 from the Al3+ in front of the OH-, now reads 3OH-, place the 1
from the hydroxyl OH- in front of the Al3+, now stays the same, Al3+ (the 1 is never written in
chemistry equations).
Al3+ + 3OH- --> Al(OH)3

The 3 is simply written in front of the OH-, a recognized ion, there are no brackets placed around
the OH-. On the right hand side of the equation, all numbers in front of each ion on the left hand
side of the equation are placed after each same ion on the right side of the equation. Brackets
are used in the right side of the equation because the result is a compound. Brackets are also
used for compounds (reactants) in the left side of equations, as in 3Mg(OH)2 + 2H3PO4 --> ?

Conductivity, temperature and pH measuring equipment.

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Chemistry of Chlorination
Chlorine can be added as sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite or chlorine gas. When any
of these is added to water, chemical reactions occur as these equations show:

Cl 2 + H 2 O → HOCI + HCI
(chlorine gas) (water) (hypochlorous acid) (hydrochloric acid)

CaOCI + H 2 O → 2HOCI + Ca(OH)

(calcium hypochlorite) (water) (hypochlorous acid) (calcium hydroxide)

NaOCI + H 2 O → HOCI + Na(OH)

(sodium hypochlorite) (water) (hypochlorous acid) (sodium hydroxide)

All three forms of chlorine produce hypochlorous acid (HOCl) when added to water.
Hypochlorous acid is a weak acid but a strong disinfecting agent. The amount of hypochlorous
acid depends on the pH and temperature of the water. Under normal water conditions,
hypochlorous acid will also chemically react and break down into a hypochlorite ion

(OCl - ): HOCI H + + OCI – Also expressed HOCI → H + + OCI –

(hypochlorous acid) (hydrogen) (hypochlorite ion)
The hypochlorite ion is a much weaker disinfecting agent than hypochlorous acid, about 100
times less effective.

Let’s now look at how pH and temperature affect the ratio of hypochlorous acid to hypochlorite
ions. As the temperature is decreased, the ratio of hypochlorous acid increases. Temperature
plays a small part in the acid ratio. Although the ratio of hypochlorous acid is greater at lower
temperatures, pathogenic organisms are actually harder to kill. All other things being equal,
higher water temperatures and a lower pH are more conducive to chlorine disinfection.

Types of Residual
If water were pure, the measured amount of chlorine in the water should be the same as the
amount added. But water is not 100% pure. There are always other substances (interfering
agents) such as iron, manganese, turbidity, etc., which will combine chemically with the chlorine.

This is called the chlorine demand. Naturally, once chlorine molecules are combined with these
interfering agents they are not capable of disinfection. It is free chlorine that is much more
effective as a disinfecting agent.

So let’s look now at how free, total and combined chlorine are related. When a chlorine residual
test is taken, either a total or a free chlorine residual can be read.

Total residual is all chlorine that is available for disinfection.

Total chlorine residual = free + combined chlorine residual.

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Free chlorine residual is a much stronger disinfecting agent. Therefore, most water regulating
agencies will require that your daily chlorine residual readings be of free chlorine residual.

Break-point chlorination is where the chlorine demand has been satisfied, any additional
chlorine will be considered free chlorine.

Residual Concentration/Contact Time (CT) Requirements

Disinfection to eliminate fecal and coliform bacteria may not be sufficient to adequately reduce
pathogens such as Giardia or viruses to desired levels. Use of the "CT" disinfection concept is
recommended to demonstrate satisfactory treatment, since monitoring for very low levels of
pathogens in treated water is analytically very difficult.

The CT concept, as developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Federal
Register, 40 CFR, Parts 141 and 142, June 29, 1989), uses the combination of disinfectant
residual concentration (mg/L) and the effective disinfection contact time (in minutes) to measure
effective pathogen reduction. The residual is measured at the end of the process, and the contact
time used is the T10 of the process unit (time for 10% of the water to pass).

CT = Concentration (mg/L) x Time (minutes)

The effective reduction in pathogens can be calculated by reference to standard tables of

required CTs.

1 Ton and 150 pound cylinders. The 1 ton is on a scale.

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Required Giardia/Virus Reduction
All surface water treatment systems shall ensure a minimum reduction in pathogen levels:
3-log reduction in Giardia; and 4-log reduction in viruses.

These requirements are based on unpolluted raw water sources with Giardia levels of = 1
cyst/100 L, and a finished water goal of 1 cyst/100,000 L (equivalent to 1 in 10,000 risk of
infection per person per year). Higher raw water contamination levels may require greater
removals as shown on Table 4.1.

Level of Giardia Reduction
Raw Water Giardia Levels*
Recommended Giardia Log
< 1 cyst/100 L 3-log
1 cyst/100 L - 10 cysts/100 L 3-log - 4-log
10 cysts/100 L - 100 cysts/100 L 4-log - 5-log
> 100 cysts/100 L > 5-log
*Use geometric means of data to determine raw water Giardia levels for compliance.

Required CT Value
Required CT values are dependent on pH, residual concentration, temperature and the
disinfectant used. The tables attached to Appendices A and B shall be used to determine the
required CT.

Calculation and Reporting of CT Data

Disinfection CT values shall be calculated daily using either the maximum hourly flow and the
disinfectant residual at the same time, or by using the lowest CT value if it is calculated more
frequently. Actual CT values are then compared to required CT values.

Results shall be reported as a reduction Ratio, along with the appropriate pH, temperature, and
disinfectant residual. The reduction Ratio must be greater than 1.0 to be acceptable.

Users may also calculate and record actual log reductions. Reduction Ratio = CT actual : CT

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Chlorination Equipment Requirements
For all wastewater treatment facilities, chlorine gas under pressure shall not be permitted outside
the chlorine room. A chlorine room is where chlorine gas cylinders and/or ton containers are
stored. Vacuum regulators shall also be located inside the chlorine room. The chlorinator, which
is the mechanical gas proportioning equipment, may or may not be located inside the chlorine

For new and upgraded facilities, from the chlorine room, chlorine gas vacuum lines should be run
as close to the point of solution application as possible. Injectors should be located to minimize
the length of pressurized chlorine solution lines. A gas pressure relief system shall be included in
the gas vacuum line between the vacuum regulator(s) and the chlorinator(s) to ensure that
pressurized chlorine gas does not enter the gas vacuum lines leaving the chlorine room.

The gas pressure relief system shall vent pressurized gas to the atmosphere at a location that is
not hazardous to plant personnel; vent line should be run in such a manner that moisture
collecting traps are avoided. The vacuum regulating valve(s) shall have positive shutdown in the
event of a break in the downstream vacuum lines.

As an alternative to chlorine gas, it is permissible to use hypochlorite with positive displacement

pumping. Anti-siphon valves shall be incorporated in the pump heads or in the discharge piping.

The chlorinator shall have the capacity to dose enough chlorine to overcome the demand and
maintain the required concentration of the "free" or "combined" chlorine.

Methods of Control
Chlorine feed system shall be automatic proportional controlled, or automatic residual controlled,
or compound loop controlled. In the automatic proportional controlled system, the equipment
adjusts the chlorine feed rate automatically in accordance with the flow changes to provide a
constant pre-established dosage for all rates of flow. In the automatic residual controlled system,
the chlorine feeder is used in conjunction with a chlorine residual analyzer which controls the feed
rate of the chlorine feeders to maintain a particular residual in the treated water.

In the compound loop control system, the feed rate of the chlorinator is controlled by a flow
proportional signal and a residual analyzer signal to maintain particular chlorine residual in the

A manual chlorine feed system may be installed for groundwater systems with constant flow

Standby Provision
As a safeguard against malfunction and/or shut-down, standby chlorination equipment having the
capacity to replace the largest unit shall be provided. For uninterrupted chlorination, gas
chlorinators shall be equipped with an automatic changeover system. In addition, spare parts
shall be available for all chlorinators.

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Weigh Scales
Scales for weighing cylinders shall be provided at all plants using chlorine gas to permit an
accurate reading of total daily weight of chlorine used. At large plants, scales of the recording and
indicating type are recommended. As a minimum, a platform scale shall be provided. Scales shall
be of corrosion-resistant material.

Securing Cylinders
All chlorine cylinders shall be securely positioned to
safeguard against movement. Tag the cylinder ”empty”
and store upright and chained.

Ton containers may not be stacked.

Chlorine Leak Detection

Automatic chlorine leak detection and related alarm
equipment shall be installed at all water treatment plants using chlorine gas. Leak detection shall
be provided for the chlorine rooms. Chlorine leak detection equipment should be connected to a
remote audible and visual alarm system and checked on a regular basis to verify proper

Leak detection equipment shall not automatically

activate the chlorine room ventilation system in such
a manner as to discharge chlorine gas. During an
emergency if the chlorine room is unoccupied, the
chlorine gas leakage shall be contained within the
chlorine room itself in order to facilitate a proper
method of clean-up.

Consideration should also be given to the provision

of caustic soda solution reaction tanks for absorbing
the contents of leaking one-ton cylinders where such
cylinders are in use.

Chlorine leak detection equipment may not be

required for very small chlorine rooms with an
exterior door (e.g., floor area less than 3m2).

You can use a spray solution of Ammonia or a rag

soaked with Ammonia to detect a small Cl2 leak. If
there is a leak, the ammonia will create a white colored smoke.

Safety Equipment
The facility shall be provided with personnel safety equipment including the following:
Respiratory equipment; safety shower, eyewash; gloves; eye protection; protective clothing;
cylinder and/or ton repair kits.

Respiratory equipment shall be provided which has been approved under the Occupational
Health and Safety Act, General Safety Regulation - Selection of Respiratory Protective
Equipment. Equipment shall be in close proximity to the access door(s) of the chlorine room.

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Chlorine Room Design Requirements
Where gas chlorination is practiced, the gas cylinders and/or the ton containers up to the vacuum
regulators shall be housed in a gas-tight, well illuminated, and corrosion resistant and
mechanically ventilated enclosure. The chlorinator may or may not be located inside the chlorine
room. The chlorine room shall be located at the ground floor level.

Gas chlorine rooms shall have entirely separate exhaust ventilation systems capable of delivering
one (1) complete air change per minute during periods of chlorine room occupancy only. The air
outlet from the room shall be 150 mm above the floor and the point of discharge located to
preclude contamination of air inlets to buildings or areas used by people. The vents to the outside
shall have insect screens.

Air inlets should be louvered near the ceiling, the air being of such temperature as to not
adversely affect the chlorination equipment. Separate switches for fans and lights shall be outside
the room at all entrance or viewing points, and a clear wire-reinforced glass window shall be
installed in such a manner as to allow the operator to inspect from the outside of the room.

Chlorine rooms shall have separate heating systems, if forced air system is used to heat the
building. The hot water heating system for the building will negate the need for a separate heating
system for the chlorine room. The heat should be controlled at approximately 15oC.

Cylinders or containers shall be protected to ensure that the chlorine maintains its gaseous state
when entering the chlorinator.

All access to the chlorine room shall only be from the exterior of the building. Visual inspection of
the chlorination equipment from inside may be provided by the installation of glass window(s) in
the walls of the chlorine room. Windows should be at least 0.20 m2 in area, and be made of clear
wire reinforced glass.

There should also be a 'panic bar' on the inside of the chlorine room door for emergency exit.

Storage of Chlorine Cylinders

If necessary, a separate storage room may be provided to simply store the chlorine gas cylinders,
with no connection to the line. The chlorine cylinder storage room shall have access either to the
chlorine room or from the plant exterior, and arranged to prevent the uncontrolled release of
spilled gas.

The chlorine gas storage room shall have provision for ventilation at thirty air changes per hour.
Viewing glass windows and panic button on the inside of door should also be provided.

In very large facilities, entry into the chlorine rooms may be through a vestibule from outside.

For facilities located within residential or densely populated areas, consideration shall be
given to provide scrubbers for the chlorine room.

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Chlorine Demand
Chlorine combines with a wide variety of materials. These side reactions complicate the use of
chlorine for disinfecting purposes. Their demand for chlorine must be satisfied before chlorine
becomes available to accomplish disinfection. Amount of chlorine required to react on various
water impurities before a residual is obtained. Also, means the amount of chlorine required to
produce a free chlorine residual of 0.1 mg/l after a contact time of fifteen minutes as measured by
iodmetic method of a sample at a temperature of twenty degrees in conformance with Standard

Chlorine Questions and Answer Review

Downstream from the point of post chlorination, what should the concentration of a free chlorine
residual be in a clear well or distribution reservoir? 0.5 mg/L.

True or False. Even brief exposure to 1,000 ppm of Cl2 can be fatal. True

How does one determine the ambient temperature in a chlorine room? Use a regular thermometer
because ambient temperature is simply the air temperature of the room.

How is the effectiveness of disinfection determined? From the results of coliform testing.

How often should chlorine storage ventilation equipment be checked? Daily.

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Alternate Disinfectants
Chloramine is a very weak disinfectant for Giardia and virus reduction; it is recommended that it be
used in conjunction with a stronger disinfectant. It is best utilized as a stable distribution system

In the production of chloramines, the ammonia residuals in the finished water, when fed in excess of
stoichiometric amount needed, should be limited to inhibit growth of nitrifying bacteria.

Chlorine Dioxide
Chlorine dioxide may be used for either taste and odor control or as a pre-disinfectant. Total residual
oxidants (including chlorine dioxide and chlorite, but excluding chlorate) shall not exceed 0.30 mg/L
during normal operation or 0.50 mg/L (including chlorine dioxide, chlorite and chlorate) during periods
of extreme variations in the raw water supply.

Chlorine dioxide provides good Giardia and virus protection but its use is limited by the restriction on
the maximum residual of 0.5 mg/L ClO2/chlorite/chlorate allowed in finished water. This limits usable
residuals of chlorine dioxide at the end of a process unit to less than 0.5 mg/L.

Where chlorine dioxide is approved for use as an oxidant, the preferred method of generation is to
entrain chlorine gas into a packed reaction chamber with a 25% aqueous solution of sodium chlorite

Warning: Dry sodium chlorite is explosive and can cause fires in feed equipment if leaking solutions
or spills are allowed to dry out.

Ozone is a very effective disinfectant for both Giardia and viruses. Ozone CT values must be
determined for the ozone basin alone; an accurate T10 value must be obtained for the contact
chamber, residual levels measured through the chamber and an average ozone residual calculated.

Ozone does not provide a system residual and should be used as a primary disinfectant only in
conjunction with free and/or combined chlorine.

Ozone does not produce chlorinated byproducts (such as trihalomethanes) but it may cause an
increase in such byproduct formation if it is fed ahead of free chlorine; ozone may also produce its
own oxygenated byproducts such as aldehydes, ketones or carboxylic acids. Any installed ozonation
system must include adequate ozone leak detection alarm systems, and an ozone off-gas destruction

Ozone may also be used as an oxidant for removal of taste and odor or may be applied as a pre-

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Respiratory Protection Section
Conditions for Respirator Use
Good industrial hygiene practice requires that engineering controls be used where feasible to reduce
workplace concentrations of hazardous materials to the prescribed exposure limit.

However, some situations may require the use of respirators to control exposure. Respirators must
be worn if the ambient concentration of chlorine exceeds prescribed exposure limits. Respirators may
be used (1) before engineering controls have been installed, (2) during work operations such as
maintenance or repair activities that involve unknown exposures, (3) during operations that require
entry into tanks or closed vessels, and (4) during emergencies. Workers should only use respirators
that have been approved by NIOSH and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Respiratory Protection Program

Employers should institute a complete respiratory protection program that, at a minimum, complies
with the requirements of OSHA's Respiratory Protection Standard [29 CFR 1910.134]. Such a
program must include respirator selection, an evaluation of the worker's ability to perform the work
while wearing a respirator, the regular training of personnel, respirator fit testing, periodic workplace
monitoring, and regular respirator maintenance, inspection, and cleaning. The implementation of an
adequate respiratory protection program (including selection of the correct respirator) requires that a
knowledgeable person be in charge of the program and that the program be evaluated regularly.

For additional information on the selection and use of respirators and on the medical screening of
respirator users, consult the latest edition of the NIOSH Respirator Decision Logic [NIOSH 1987b]
and the NIOSH Guide to Industrial Respiratory Protection [NIOSH 1987a].

Personal Protective Equipment

Workers should use appropriate personal protective clothing and equipment that must be carefully
selected, used, and maintained to be effective in preventing skin contact with chlorine. The selection
of the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g., gloves, sleeves, encapsulating suits)
should be based on the extent of the worker's potential exposure to chlorine.

The resistance of various materials to permeation by both chlorine liquid and chlorine gas is shown

Material Breakthrough Time (hr) Chlorine Liquid Responder

Chlorine gas butyl rubber neoprene Teflon viton saranex barricade chemrel responder trellchem HPS
nitrile rubber H (PE/EVAL) polyethylene polyvinyl chloride. Material is estimated (but not tested) to
provide at least four hours of protection. Not recommended, degradation may occur.

To evaluate the use of these PPE materials with chlorine, users should consult the best available
performance data and manufacturers' recommendations. Significant differences have been
demonstrated in the chemical resistance of generically similar PPE materials (e.g., butyl) produced
by different manufacturers. In addition, the chemical resistance of a mixture may be significantly
different from that of any of its neat components.

Any chemical-resistant clothing that is used should be periodically evaluated to determine its
effectiveness in preventing dermal contact. Safety showers and eye wash stations should be located
close to operations that involve chlorine. Splash-proof chemical safety goggles or face shields (20 to
30 cm long, minimum) should be worn during any operation in which a solvent, caustic, or other toxic
substance may be splashed into the eyes.

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In addition to the possible need for wearing
protective outer apparel e.g., aprons,
encapsulating suits), workers should wear work
uniforms, coveralls, or similar full-body
coverings that are laundered each day.
Employers should provide lockers or other
closed areas to store work and street clothing
separately. Employers should collect work
clothing at the end of each work shift and
provide for its laundering. Laundry personnel
should be informed about the potential hazards
of handling contaminated clothing and instructed
about measures to minimize their health risk.

Protective clothing should be kept free of oil and

grease and should be inspected and maintained
regularly to preserve its effectiveness.
Protective clothing may interfere with the body's
heat dissipation, especially during hot weather or during work in hot or poorly ventilated work

SCBA Fit Test

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Wastewater Collection Chapter 4

The Sewer Cleaning Truck is 38 feet long and 9 feet wide. The attached tank has capacity of 1500 gallons and
can hold 10 cubic yards of debris. The truck is equipped with a high pressure cleaning head that can move
800 feet down a sanitary line at 2500 PSI.

Out of sight, out of mind—that's your sanitary sewer collection system. Until there comes that inevitable
emergency call due to a stoppage, then you have upset residents with sewage backed up in their toilets. A
very economical and quick method of determining if a new sewer line is straight and unobstructed is called
“Lamping” and can be done with a mirror and a bright source of light, for example a headlight at night or

Video inspection coupled with a good cleaning program can be a highly effective maintenance tool. By
cleaning and root sawing your lines, restrictions caused by debris, roots and grease buildup can be
prevented—thus drastically reducing the number of emergency backups and surcharge calls.

Sewage collection systems that have video inspection closed circuit television (CCTV) and cleaning
programs, report drastic reductions in the number of emergency calls because the system was cleaned
and potential trouble spots were located prior to problems happening.

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Excavation and Safety are essential to a Collection’s Worker
Below, a Monument Marker or sometimes called a Stone Line or Benchmark.

The Benchmark is the starting location for measuring your sewer system components.
This is called ”Stationing” and will give you the distance to a tap.

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Wastewater Collection Pre-Quiz Answers are at the end of Quiz.

1. Your collection system requires a new sewer main line. Who would be the best source of information
for instructions on how to lay and join new sewer pipes.
A. Manufacturer
B. A local plumbing contractor
C. Utility inspector
D. Grading and drainage inspector

2. In many sewer installations low pressure air testing is necessary to determine the tightness of the pipe.
In instances where ground water levels are higher that the sewer lines the new pipes are usually tested
around_______ to _______ psi above any outside water pressure on the pipe.
A. 3, 5
B. 7, 10
C. 10, 14
D. 15, 22

3. A good manager will establish a good record keeping system to help in analyzing many problems that
occur. Records such as outside services versus in-house personnel costs could result in saving money by
hiring personnel to handle jobs typically farmed out. For the purposes of budgeting and justifying the costs
the manager will:
A. Present all bills to the board
B. Hide the excessive costs in other lines of the budget
C. Beg for budget increases by verbal communication only
D. Plot the costs to ease understanding the need for personnel
E. None of the above, at least at my yard

4. Managers and supervisors maintain a personnel file on each employee. These files contain information
about the employee. Which of the following should NOT be found in the employee file?
A. Accident reports
B. Budget requirement to justifying employee hiring
C. Attendance analysis
D. Performance evaluations

5. Sewer lines made of __________ types of pipe should be tested with a mandrel to measure for
___________ and joint offsets.
A. flexible, deflection
B. ductile iron, tightness
C. clay, stress cracks
D. cement, thickness

6. What is the one most important reason for having a wastewater collection system?
A. prevent disease
B. keep the waste out of sight
C. to allow for gravity feed
D. to alleviate the foul smell
E. Both C & D

7. Many public agencies are having a difficult time stretching their financial resources to meet all the
demands they face from both internal and external sources. What is the best thing a collection system
operator can do to help in meeting these challenges?
A. Provide good collection system maintenance, operation and inspection
B. Agree to work only 4 hours of overtime a week
C. Donate unused vacation and sick time back to the utility
D. None of the above

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8. An operator should have a good understanding of the terms used in wastewater collection systems.
What description best explains the term combined wastewater?
A. A mixture of surface runoff and industrial wastewater
B. A mix of domestic wastewater and storm water
C. A blend of domestic and industrial wastewater
D. Both A and B
E. None of the above

9. A term used often in a collection system is the term "grade ring". What best describes a grade ring as
used in the collection system?
A. The bell end of the pipe that must be placed down slope
B. A precast concrete ring of various heights to raise the manhole cover
C. A surveyors tool used to mark grade along the trench
D. None of the above

10. Two words are used to describe a collection system, they are the words 'sanitary' and 'wastewater'.
Which is the correct definition of the term 'sanitary collection system'?
A. The pipe system prior to being used
B. The combination of domestic and industrial waste
C. A collection system used only for storm water
D. A collection system used only for domestic waste

11. Ideally wastewater collection systems are designed and constructed to provide a minimum velocity of
_____ ft per second to ensure the waste in maintained in suspension.
A. 4.32
B. 6.20
C. 2.00
D. 8.25

12. A ball is traveling down a 12 inch sewer line and you see it at the your manhole at 1:52:00 p.m.. Your
partner, at the next manhole 350 feet away, said the ball went past her at 1:55:02 p.m. The estimated
surface velocity in the sewer is:
A. 9.65 ft/sec
B. 1.9 ft/sec
C. 116.7 ft/sec
D. 3.97 ft/sec

13. Which of the following types of pipe materials would NOT be suitable for use in a wastewater collection
A. Asbestos cement pipe
B. Uncoated black iron pipe
C. Polyethylene

14. Channel corrections are usually required for___________ and _____________ in older manholes to
reduce the causes of turbulent flows and restrictions to flow in the incoming lines.
A. Tee intersections, basin channels
B. Wye channels, ell turns
C. Lateral flows, sweeping turns
D. Flat bottoms, low steps

15. The coefficient value used to represent the channel or pipe roughness in Manning’s formula for
computing flows in gravity sewers is called the?
A. “R” factor
B. “N” factor
C. Abrasion value
D. Both A and B

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16. The type of waste that can generally be consumed by bacteria and other small organisms is called?
A. Microbes
B. Organic waste
C. Inorganic waste
D. Mineral waste
E. None of the above

17. What is the name given to a chamber, connected to the flow in the main channel by a small inlet,
where the liquid level is measured to determine the flow in the main channel?
A. Flow meter
B. Measuring well
C. Stilling well
D. Venturi chamber

18. The primary purpose of lubrication in the maintenance of equipment is to reduce the _________ and
_________ between two surfaces.
A. Galling, bonding
B. Wear, tear
C. Friction, heat
D. Roughness, friction

19. One important point to remember when using a portable centrifugal trash pump is to:
A. Always locate the pump as close as possible to the water surface being pumped.
B. Always locate the pump as close as possible to the discharge pond
C. A high suction lift will dramatically increase the discharge volume
D. A high discharge head will decrease the need for a high suction lift

20. The two terms that are frequently used to describe the incoming and out going conductors of circuit
breakers, motor starters and other devices are called?
A. Hot lead, ground wire
B. Amperage in, voltage out
C. Line side, load side
D. Time delay fuse, circuit breaker

Answers to Quiz
1. A
2. A
3. D
4. B
5. A
6. A
7. A
8. D
9. B
10. D
11. C
12. B
13. B Installation of grinder pump for a low-pressure system
14. A
15. D
16. B
17. C
18. C
19. A
20. C

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Wastewater Collection Introduction
Every house, restaurant, business and industry produces waste. Wastewater collection protects public health
and the environment by removing this infectious waste and recycling the water. A network of interconnected
pipes accepts the flow from each building's sewer connection and delivers it to the treatment facilities. In
addition to what homes and businesses flush down the drain, the system also collects excess groundwater,
infiltration liquids, and inflow water. Wastewater collection is therefore a comprehensive liquid waste removal

The fluid waste distributed through this system is about 98% water. The waste floats on, is carried along by,
and goes into suspension or solution in water. Possible waste includes anything that can be flushed down the
drain--human excretion, body fluids, paper products, soaps and detergents, foods, fats, oil, grease, paints,
chemicals, hazardous materials, solvents, disposable and flushable items; the list is almost infinite. This
mixture of water and wastes is called "wastewater." In the past, it was known as "sewage," but this term is
now falling out of favor because it refers specifically to domestic sanitary wastewater, like toilet flushing, which
represents only a portion of the entire fluid waste content.

"Wastewater" is a more accurate description and has become the standard term for this fluid waste because
it encompasses the total slurry of wastes in water that is gathered from homes and businesses.

Types of Sewer Systems

Centralized sewer systems are generally broken out into three different categories: sanitary sewers, storm
sewers, and combined sewers. Sanitary sewers carry wastewater or sewage from homes and businesses to
treatment plants. Underground sanitary sewer pipes can clog or break, causing unintentional "overflows" of
raw sewage that flood basements and streets. Storm sewers are designed to quickly get rainwater off the
streets during rain events. Chemical, trash and debris from lawns, parking lots and streets are washed by the
rain into the storm sewer drains. Most storm sewers do not connect with a treatment plant, but instead drain
directly into nearby rivers, lakes, or oceans. Combined sewers carry both wastewater and storm water in the
same pipe. Most of the time, combined sewers transport the wastewater and storm water to a treatment plant.

However, when there is too much rain, combined sewer systems cannot handle the extra volume and
designed "overflows" of raw sewage into streams and rivers occur. The great majority of sewer systems have
separated, not combined, sanitary and storm water pipes.

According to a recent Clean Water Needs Survey conducted by the USEPA, by the year 2016, the U.S. will
have to invest more than $10 billion to upgrade existing wastewater collection systems, over $20 billion for
new sewer construction, and nearly $44 billion to improve sewer overflows, to effectively serve the projected
population. As the infrastructure in the United States and other parts of the world ages, increasing importance
is being placed on rehabilitating wastewater collection systems. Cracks, settling, tree root intrusion, and other
disturbances that develop over time deteriorate pipelines and other conveyance structures that comprise
wastewater collection systems, including stormwater, sanitary and combined sewers.

Leaking, overflowing and insufficient wastewater collection systems can release untreated wastewater into
receiving waters. Outdated pump stations, undersized to carry sewage from newly developed subdivisions or
commercial areas, can also create a potential overflow hazard, adversely affecting human health and
degrading the water quality of receiving waters. The maintenance of the sewer system is therefore a
continuous, never-ending cycle. As sections of the system age, problems such as corroded concrete pipe,
cracked tile, lost joint integrity, grease and heavy root intrusion must be constantly monitored and repaired.
Technology has improved collection system maintenance with such tools as television camera assisted line
inspection equipment, jet-cleaning trucks, and improvements in pump design.

Because of the increasing complexity of wastewater collection systems, collection system maintenance is
evolving into a highly skilled trade. Collection system operators are charged with protecting public health and
the environment and therefore must have documented proof of their certifications in the respective wastewater
management systems. These professionals ensure that the system pipes remain clear and open. They
eliminate obstructions and are constantly striving to improve flow characteristics. They keep the wastewater
moving, underground, unseen, and unheard.

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Because this wastewater collection system and the professionals who maintain it operate at such a high level
of efficiency, problems are very infrequent. So much so that the public often takes the wastewater collection
system for granted. In truth, these operators must work hard to keep it functioning properly.

Characteristics of Domestic Wastewater

• Mostly water -- 99.95% pure water

• What is the 0.05%?

o Large Solids -- rags, wigs, stick, shoes, etc.
o Small Solids -- grit (sand, garbage, etc.)
o Suspended Solids -- bacteria, feces are 30 - 60% by weight bacteria
o Dissolved Material
Organic (Biochemical Oxygen Demand, BOD)
Ammonia (Nitrogenous Oxygen Demand, NOD)
Inorganic (Metals and nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus)
Other Organic (not decomposable)
o Pathogens
Sewer Main
In a centralized wastewater treatment system, the sewer to which sewer connections are made
from individual residences.

Trunk Lines
Sewer pipes measuring more than 12 inches in diameter and having a capacity of 1 to 10 million
gallons per day. Trunk lines connect smaller sewer pipes, or collectors, to the largest transport
pipes, or interceptors.

Small sewer pipes measuring twelve inches or less in diameter.

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Sanitary Sewer Overflows

Sanitary sewer collection systems perform the critical task of collecting sewage and other wastewater from
places where people live, work, and recreate, and transport it to the treatment facility for proper treatment and
disposal. These systems are essential for protecting public health and the environment.

A combination of factors has resulted in releases of untreated sewage from some parts of the collection
systems before it reaches treatment facilities, known as sanitary sewer overflows. Most cities and towns
started building sewer collection systems over 100 years ago and many of these systems have not received
adequate upgrades, maintenance and repair over time.

Cities have used a wide variety of materials, designs, and installation practices. Even well-operated systems
may be subject to occasional blockages or structural, mechanical, or electrical failures. Problems with sewer
overflows can be particularly severe where portions of a system have fallen into disrepair or where an older
system is inferior to more modern systems.

The EPA estimates that there are at least 40,000 overflows of sanitary sewers each year. The untreated
sewage from these overflows can contaminate our waters, causing serious water quality problems and
threatening drinking water supplies and fish and shellfish. It can also back up into basements, causing
property damage and creating threats to public health for those who come in contact with the untreated

Sanitary sewer overflows that discharge to surface waters have been prohibited under the Clean Water Act
since 1972. Municipal wastewater treatment plants that discharge are currently required to comply with
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, which require record-keeping and
reporting of overflows and maintenance of their collection system. Most satellite sewage collection systems do
not current have NPDES permits.

Rule to Reduce Sewer Overflows

The EPA has made revisions to the NPDES permit regulations to improve the operation of municipal sanitary
sewer collection systems, reduce the frequency and occurrence of sewer overflows, and provide more
effective public notification when overflows do occur. These changes will provide communities with a
framework for reducing health and environmental risks associated with overflowing sewers.

The result will be fewer overflows, better information for local communities, and extended lifetime for the
Nation’s infrastructure. This rule primarily addresses sanitary sewer overflows, not combined sewer overflows.

Capacity Assurance, Management, Operation, and Maintenance Programs. These programs will help
communities ensure they have adequate wastewater collection and treatment capacity and incorporate many
standard operation and maintenance activities for good system performance. When implemented, these
programs will provide for efficient operation of sanitary sewer collection systems.

Notifying the Public and Health Authorities. Municipalities and other local interests will establish a locally-
tailored program that notifies the public of overflows according to the risk associated with specific overflow
events. EPA is also proposing that annual summaries of sewer overflows be made available to the public. The
proposal also clarifies existing record-keeping requirements and requirements to report to the state.

Prohibition of Overflows. The existing Clean Water Act prohibition of sanitary sewer overflows that discharge
to surface waters is clarified to provide communities with limited protection from enforcement in cases where
overflows are caused by factors beyond their reasonable control or severe natural conditions, provided there
are no feasible alternatives.

Expanding Permit Coverage to Satellite Systems. Satellite municipal collection systems are those
collection systems where the owner or operator is different than the owner or operator of the treatment facility.
Some 4,800 satellite collection systems will be required to obtain NPDES permit coverage to include the
requirements under this rule change.

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The EPA estimates that this rule would impose an additional total cost for municipalities of $93.5 million to
$126.5 million each year, including costs associated with both planning and permitting. A collection system
serving 7,500 may need to spend an average of $6,000 each year to comply with this rule.

Additional Information
For additional information about the EPA’s sanitary sewer overflow regulation, contact Kevin Weiss at
weiss.kevin@epa.gov or visit http://www.epa.gov/owm/sso.htm on the Internet.

Cracked sewer main, a SSO waiting to happen.

Sewer manhole with a history of overflowing.

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Gravity Sanitary Sewers
A Sanitary Sewer has Two Main Functions:

To convey the designed peak discharge

Transport solids so that the deposits are kept at a minimum

Sanitary sewers are designed to transport the wastewater by utilizing the potential energy provided
by the natural elevation of the earth resulting in a downstream flow. This energy, if not designed
properly, can be losses due to free falls, turbulent junctions and sharp bends. Sewer systems are
designed to maintain proper flow velocities with minimum head loss. However, higher elevations in
the system may find it necessary to dissipate excess potential energy.

Design flows are based on the quantity of wastewater to be transported. Flow is determined largely
by population served, density of population, and water consumption. Sanitary sewers should be
designed for peak flow of population. Stormwater inflow is highly discouraged and should be
designed separate from the sanitary system.

Gravity-flow sanitary sewers are usually designed to follow the topography of the land and to flow
full or nearly full at peak rates of flow and partly full at lesser flows. Most of the time the flow surface
is exposed to the atmosphere within the sewer and it functions as an open channel. At extreme
peak flows the wastewater will surcharge back into the manholes. This surcharge produces low
pressure in the sewer system.

In order to design a sewer system many factor are considered. The purpose of this topic is to aid in
the understanding of flow velocities and design depths of flow. The ultimate goal for our industry is
to protect the health of the customers we serve. This is achieved by prevention of sewer manhole
over flows.

Flow Measurements
Most sewers are designed with the capacity to flow half full, for less than 15 inch in diameter; larger
sewers are designed to flow at three-fourths flow. The velocity is based on calculated peak flow
which is commonly considered to be twice the average daily flow.

Accepted standards dictate that the minimum design velocity should not be less than 0.60 m/sec (2
fps) or generally greater than 3.5 m/sec (10 fps) at peak flow. A velocity in excess of 3.5 m/sec (10
fps) can be tolerated a proper consideration of pipe material, abrasive characteristics of the
wastewater, turbulence, and thrust at changes of direction. The minimum velocity is necessary to
prevent the deposition of solids.

Various Sewer Flow Measuring Devices

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The use of a dye at the manhole to determine the velocity is done as followed:

1. Insert dye upstream and begin timing until the dye is first seen at the downstream
manhole (t1); and
2. Total the travel time the insertion time from the time the dye is no longer seen at the
downstream manhole (t2).

Once this is complete add (t1 + t2) then divide it by 2. This will give you the total average time
foe the dye. In order to calculate the velocity the travel time is divided by the distance between
manholes: (note that the time needs to be converted to seconds)

Distance, ft
Velocity, ft/sec =
Average time, sec

There are devices available to measure flow measurements, they all are based on the principle
of the cross-sectional area of the flow in a sewer line. This is done by using the table below.
One this has been determined, than the following equations can be used:

Q, cubic feet of flow = Area, sq ft multiplied by Velocity, ft/sec

d/D Factor d/D Factor d/D Factor d/D Factor

0.01 0.0013 0.16 0.0811 0.31 0.2074 0.46 0.3527
0.02 0.0037 0.17 0.0885 0.32 0.2167 0.47 0.3627
0.03 0.0069 0.18 0.0961 0.33 0.2260 0.48 0.3727
0.04 0.0105 0.19 0.1039 0.34 0.2355 0.49 0.3827
0.05 0.0174 0.20 0.1118 0.35 0.2350 0.50 0.3927
0.06 0.0192 0.21 0.1199 0.36 0.2545 0.51 0.4027
0.07 0.0242 0.22 0.1281 0.37 0.2642 0.52 0.4127
0.08 0.0294 0.23 0.1365 0.38 0.2739 0.53 0.4227
0.09 0.0350 0.24 0.1449 0.39 0.2836 0.54 0.4327
0.10 0.0409 0.25 0.1535 0.40 0.2934 0.55 0.4426
0.11 0.0470 0.26 0.1623 0.41 0.3032 0.56 0.4526
0.12 0.0534 0.27 0.1711 0.42 0.3130 0.57 0.4625
0.13 0.0600 0.28 0.1800 0.43 0.3229 0.58 0.4724
0.14 0.0668 0.29 0.1890 0.44 0.3328 0.59 0.4822
0.15 0.0739 0.30 0.1982 0.45 0.3428 0.60 0.4920

This table works as followed:

To determine the cross-sectional flow for a 12 inch sewer main with a flow depth of 5 inches you
would first:

d or depth 5 inches divided by D or diameter 12 inches equals 0.42 d/D. using the table above
find the correct factor for 0.42 d/D.

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The factor equals 0.3130, now calculate the cross-sectional area using the following formula:

(Factor)(Diameter, in)2
Pipe Cross-sectional Area, sq ft=
144 sq in/sq ft

(0.3130)(12 in) 2

144 sq in/sq/ft

= 0.0313 sq ft

Once the Velocity and the cross-sectional area have been determined, the calculation for flow
rate is used. This formula is as followed:

Q, cubic feet per second = (Area, sq ft} (Velocity, ft/sec)

Once this calculation is made, cubic feet can be converted to gallons by multiplying it by 7.48
gal/cubic feet and seconds can be converted to minutes, hours or days by multiplying the
gallons with the time.

Installation of a deep Manhole

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What is Infiltration/Inflow (I/I)?
Infiltration occurs when groundwater enters the sewer system through cracks, holes, faulty connections, or
other openings. Inflow occurs when surface water such as storm water enters the sewer system through
roof downspout connections, holes in manhole covers, illegal plumbing connections, or other defects. The
sanitary sewer collection system and treatment plants have a maximum flow
capacity of wastewater that can be handled. I/I, which is essentially clean
water, takes up this capacity and can result in sewer overflows into streets and
waterways, sewer backups in homes, and unnecessary costs for treatment of
this water. It can even lead to unnecessary expansion of the treatment plants
to handle the extra capacity. These costs get passed on to the consumer.

I/I (Infiltration and Inflow):

• Infiltration is water (typically groundwater) entering the sewer
underground through cracks or openings in joints.
• Inflow is water (typically stormwater or surface runoff) that enters the sewer from grates or
unsealed manholes exposed to the surface.

Determining I/I:
Flow monitoring and flow modeling provide measurements and data used to determine estimates of I/I.
Flow meters are placed at varying locations throughout the sewer collection system to take measurements
and identify general I/I source areas. Measurements taken before and after a precipitation event indicate
the extent that I/I is increasing total flow. Both infiltration and inflow increase with precipitation. Infiltration
increases when groundwater rises from precipitation, and inflow is mainly stormwater and rainwater.
Rainfall monitoring is also performed to correlate this data.

Identifying sources of I/I:

A Sewer System Evaluation Survey (SSES) involves inspection of the sewer system using several
methods to identify sources of I/I:
· Visual inspection - accessible pipes, gutter and plumbing connections, and manholes are visually
inspected for faults.
· Smoke testing – smoke is pumped into sewer pipes. Its reappearance aboveground indicates points of
I/I. These points can be on public property such as along street cracks or around manholes, or on private
property such as along house foundations or in yards where sewer pipes lay underground.
· TV inspection – camera equipment is used to do internal pipe inspections. The City has one 2-3 person
crew that performs TV inspection on over 20 miles of sewer pipe per year.
· Dye testing – Dye is used at suspected I/I sources. The source is confirmed if the dye appears in the
sewer system.

Sources of I/I are also sometimes identified when sewer backups or overflows bring attention to that part
of the system. The purpose of the SSES is to reduce these incidences by finding sources before they
cause a problem.

Repairing I/I sources:

Repair techniques include manhole wall spraying, Insituform pipe relining, manhole frame and lid
replacement, and disconnecting illegal plumbing, drains, and roof downspouts.

Smoke Testing

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Tree Roots vs. Sanitary Sewer Lines
Root Growth in Pipes
Roots require oxygen to grow, they do not grow in pipes that are
full of water or where high ground water conditions prevail.
Roots thrive in the warm, moist nutrient rich atmosphere above
the water surface inside sanitary sewers. The flow of warm
water inside the sanitary sewer service pipe causes water vapor
to escape to the cold soil surrounding the pipe. Tree roots are
attracted to the water vapor leaving the pipe and they follow the
vapor trail to the source of the moisture, which are usually
cracks or loose joints in the sewer pipe.

Upon reaching the crack or pipe joint, tree routes will penetrate the opening to reach the nutrients and
moisture inside the pipe. This phenomenon continues in winter even though trees appear to be dormant.

Problems Caused by Roots Inside Sewers

Once inside the pipe, roots will continue to grow and if not disturbed, they will completely fill the pipe with
multiple hair-like root masses at each point of entry. The root mass inside the pipe becomes matted with
grease, tissue paper, and other debris discharged from the residence or business. Homeowners will notice
the first signs of a slow flowing drainage system by hearing gurgling noises from toilet bowls and
observing wet areas around floor drains after completing the laundry. A complete blockage will occur if no
remedial action is taken to remove the roots/blockage. As roots continue to grow, they expand and exert
considerable pressure at the crack or joint where they entered the pipe. The force exerted by the root
growth will break the pipe and may result in total collapse of the pipe. Severe root intrusion and pipes that
are structurally damaged will require replacement.

Tree Roots in Sewer

Tree roots growing inside sewer pipes are generally the most expensive sewer maintenance item
experienced by City residents. Roots from trees growing on private property and on parkways throughout
the City are responsible for many of the sanitary sewer service backups and damaged sewer pipes.

Home owners should be aware of the location of their sewer service and refrain from planting certain types
of trees and hedges near the sewer liners. The replacement cost of a sanitary sewer service line as a
result of damage from tree roots may be very expensive.

Pipes Susceptible to Root Damage

Some pipe material are more resistant to root intrusion than others. Clay tile pipe that was commonly
installed by developers and private contractors until the late 1980's was easily penetrated and damaged
by tree roots. Concrete pipe and PVC pipe may also allow root intrusions to a lesser extent than clay tile
pipe. PVC pipe is more resistant to root intrusion because it usually has fewer joints. The tightly fitting PVC
joints are less likely to leak as a result of settlement of backfill around the pipe.

Root Spread
During drought conditions and in winter, tree roots travel long distances in search of moisture. As a
general rule, tree roots will extend up to 2.5 times the height of the tree, and some species of trees may
have roots extending five to seven times the height of the tree.

Root Growth Control

The common method of removing roots from sanitary sewer service pipes involves the use of augers, root
saws, and high pressure flushers. These tools are useful in releasing blockages in an emergency,
however, cutting and tearing of roots encourages new growth. The effect is the same as pruning a hedge
to promote faster, thicker, and stronger re-growth. Roots removed by auguring are normally just a small
fraction of the roots inside the pipe.

To augment the cutting and auguring methods, there are products available commercially that will kill the
roots inside the pipe without harming the tree. The use of products such as copper sulfate and sodium
hydroxide are not recommended because of negative environmental impacts on the downstream receiving
water. Also, these products may kill the roots but they do not inhibit re-growth.
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The more modern method used throughout Canada and the United States for controlling root growth
involves the use of an herbicide mixed with water and a foaming agent. The foam mixture is pumped into
the sewer pipe to kill any roots that come into contact with the mixture. New root growth will be inhibited
from three to five years after the treatment, according to the manufacturers.

FlexKid is an accessory for Ripper tools designed to clear roots and other blockages from sewer pipes. The
unit readily passes through pipes and around or over typical obstructions like offset joints, hand taps and
debris. Available for pipes 18 inches and larger, it features durable cable and easy attachment to the rear of
any root-cutting motor. It is designed for quick setup and quick size changes in field. No underground (in-
manhole) assembly is required, and no manhole modification is necessary.

The Knocker is a chain cleaner designed to use in conjunction with The Ripper. The Ripper positions The
Knocker's chain-knocking action in the center of the pipe and keeps the chain from hanging up on offsets
and hand-taps. The Ripper follows up by removing
loose debris - leaving pipes cleaner than any other
sewer cleaning tool - period.

Courtesy of DML, LLC

419 Colford Avenue
West Chicago, Il 60185
Phone (630) 293-3653

The Ripper is a root clearing tool that attaches to your existing hydraulic root cutter motor and cleans the
complete pipe like no other tool. The Ripper design allows it to continue cleaning even the major offsets or
protruding traps. Operators will rip through roots with less fatigue and fewer hang-ups. The Ripper just
keeps on ripping! The Ripper cleans grease, calcium, roots, rust and more - pipes are restored to full

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Smoking out Sewer Leaks
An overview of smoke testing, an important part of successful I & I studies.
By Paul Tashian, Superior Signal Company, Inc.

Used extensively for over 40 years, smoke testing has proven to be a vital ingredient of successful inflow and
infiltration (I&I) studies. It is as important now as it has ever been as growing municipalities increase demands
on aging, often deteriorating collection systems. In addition, programs such as the EPA’s new CMOM
(capacity, maintenance, operations, and maintenance) emphasize a focus on proactive, preventive
maintenance practices. Smoke testing is an effective method of documenting sources of inflow and should be
part of any CMOM program.

Just as a doctor would require the aid of

several instruments to evaluate the
status of ones health, various test
methods should be used in performing a
complete sanitary sewer evaluation
survey (SSES). In addition to smoke
testing, these could include dyed water
testing, manhole inspection, TV
inspection, flow monitoring, and more.
Specializing in sanitary sewer evaluation
surveys, Wade & Associates of
Lawrence Kansas states a reduction of
30 to 50% in peak flows can be
expected as a result of implementing
these types of programs.

Smoke testing is a relatively simple

process, which consists of blowing
smoke mixed with larger volumes of air
into the sanitary sewer line, usually
induced through the manhole. The smoke travels the path of least resistance and quickly shows up at sites
that allow surface water inflow. Smoke will identify broken manholes, illegal connections (including roof drains,
sump pumps, yard drains and more), uncapped lines, and will even show cracked mains and laterals providing
there is a passageway for the smoke to travel to the surface.

Although video inspection and other techniques are certainly important components of an I&I survey, research
has shown that approximately 65% of all extraneous stormwater inflow enters the system from somewhere
other than the main line (see private sector diagram). Smoke testing is an excellent method of inspecting both
the mainlines, laterals and more. Smoke travels throughout the system, identifying problems in ALL
connected lines even sections of line that were not known to exist, or thought to be independent or
unconnected. Best results are obtained during dry weather which allows smoke better opportunity to travel to
the surface.

Necessary Equipment
Blowers; Most engineering specifications for smoke testing identify the use of a blower able to provide 1750
cfm (cubic feet of air per minute), however in today’s world it seems to be the mindset that bigger is better.
New smoke blowers on the market can deliver over 3000 cfm, but is this really needed? Once the manhole
area is filled, the smoke only needs to travel sections of generally 8 or 10-inch pipe. Moving the air very
quickly is useless if the blower does not have the static pressure to push that air/smoke through the lines. If
you’ve used high CFM blowers and found that smoke frequently backs up to the surface, this may be your

There are two types of blowers available for smoke testing sewers: squirrel cage and direct drive propeller. In
general, squirrel cage blowers are usually larger in size, but can provide more static pressure in relation to

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The output of the squirrel cage type is usually adjustable by alternating pulleys and belts to meet the demands
of the job. Propeller style blowers are usually more compact and generally offer approx. 3,200 CFM. Other
than reducing the engine throttle, the output is not adjustable since the fan blade is attached directly to the
engine shaft. If purchasing a smoke blower you should ask the manufacturer if the CFM and static pressure
output they are quoting is the specification of the propeller itself (uninstalled/free air), or if it is the actual
performance when installed in the blower assembly. These two numbers can vary significantly.

Smoke Types; There are two types of smoke currently offered for smoke testing sewers, classic smoke
candles and smoke fluids.

Smoke candles were

first used for testing
sewers when the
process began its
popularity back in
1961, and continue
to be the most widely
used. They are used
by simply placing a
smoke candle on the
fresh air intake side
of the blower. Once
ignited, the exiting
smoke is drawn in
with the fresh air and
blown down into the
manhole and
throughout the
system. Smoke
candles are available
in various sizes that can be used singularly or in combination to meet any need. This type of smoke is
formed by a chemical reaction, creating a smoke which contains a high content of atmospheric moisture.
It is very visible even at low concentrations, and extremely effective at finding leaks.

Another available source of smoke is a smoke fluid system. Although they have just recently been more
aggressively marketed, smoke fluids became available for sewer testing shortly after smoke candles, some 30
years ago. They can certainly be used effectively, but it is important to understand how they work. This
system involves injecting a smoke fluid (usually a petroleum based product) into the hot exhaust stream of the
engine where it is heated within the muffler (or heating chamber) and exhausted into the air intake side of the
blower. One gallon of smoke fluid is generally less expensive than one dozen smoke candles, however smoke
fluids do not consistently provide the same quality of smoke.

When using smoke fluid, it is important to understand that as fluid is injected into the heating chamber (or
muffler) it immediately begins to cool the unit. The heating chamber will eventually reach a point where it is
not hot enough to completely convert all the fluid to smoke, thus creating thin/wet smoke.

This can actually happen quickly depending on the rate of fluid flow. If the smoke has become thin it can be
especially difficult to see at greater distances. Blocking off sections of line is usually a good idea with any type
of smoke, but becomes almost a necessity when using smoke fluid.

Some manufactures have taken steps to address this issue, and now offer better flow control, fluid distribution,
and most importantly insulated heating chambers to help maintain necessary temperatures.

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Maybe one of the more talked about, yet least understood aspects of smoke testing is the use and safety of
these products. As manufacturers have become more competitive, some marketing programs and
advertisements have implied danger in the use of competitive types of smoke products. Laboratory reports,
scientific studies, and even Material Safety Data Sheets can be quite confusing to most of us, who are not
trained nor qualified to make scientific judgments on this data.

Having this information delivered to us in the form of advertising can be dangerous, as most of us tend to
believe what we read. An author of an associated industry publication once stated… “Do not use smoke
bombs, as they give off a toxic gas”. Although the author quotes no scientific literature to support this
statement, competitive propaganda has made such implications. It is interesting to note that the same exact
statement could be made for smoke fluids. Smoke from fluid is created in the exhaust system of the engine,
which contains carbon monoxide. Is carbon monoxide not a toxic gas?

Other statements that have been made include warnings to wear a respirator while smoke testing. While
certain manufacturers have issued this warning about competitive products, they do not qualify the statement,
nor do they mention the fact that the same thing could be said of their own product. The fact is that a
respirator should be worn whenever a person would be exposed to ANY substance in quantities that exceeded
OSHA limits.

The bottom line on safety is that it is important to use common sense. All smokes, candles and fluids can be
used safely and effectively when used as directed.

When planning to smoke test, it is important to develop a proactive public notice program. Ads in local papers,
door hangers, mailers, as well as door to door inquiries are recommended. It is helpful to educate the public
as to why the test is being performed and the positive benefits to the community. In addition, it should instruct
residents on what to do and who to call if smoke should enter their homes. It is also important to notify local
police and fire departments daily, as to where and when smoke testing will be taking place.

Reducing stormwater inflow into collection systems means reduced chances of overflows, less emergency
maintenance and less money spent on treatment. If these are goals of your organization, consider smoke
testing as a fairly easy, inexpensive, and effective way of achieving your objectives.

Paul Tashian is employed by Superior Signal Company Inc., a manufacturer of all types of smoke testing
equipment, and a major contributor to the original development of smoke testing practices. Paul can be
reached at (732) 251-0800, or ptashian@superiorsignal.com. Also, thanks to Wade & Associates (a company
specializing in sanitary sewer evaluation surveys) for offering reference material, and providing artwork and
photographs used in this article. For information on Wade’s services call (785) 841-1774, or visit

Two Way Clean-out

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When designing a wastewater system, the design engineer begins by first determining the types and quantities
of sewage to be handled. This is accomplished through a careful study of the area to be served. The design
engineer bases his design on the average daily use of water per person in the area to be served. A typical
value is 100 gallons per person per day. But, the use of water is not constant.

Use is greater in the summer than in the winter and

greater during the morning and evening than it is in
the middle of the day or at night. Therefore, the
average daily flow (based on the average utilization) is
multiplied by a peak flow factor to obtain the design

Typical peak flow factors range from 4 to 6 for small

areas down to 1.5 to 2.5 for larger areas. An
allowance for unavoidable infiltration of surface and
subsurface water into the lines is sometimes added to
the peak flow to obtain the design flow. A typical
infiltration allowance is 500 gallons per inch of pipe
diameter per mile of sewer per day. From the types of
sewage and the estimated design flow, the engineer can then tentatively select the types, sizes, slopes, and
distances below grade of the piping to be used for the system.

Upon acceptance of the preliminary designs, final design may begin. During this phase, adjustments to the
preliminary design should be made as necessary, based upon additional surveys, soil analysis, or other
design factors. The final designs should include a general map of the area that shows the locations of all
sewer lines and structures.

They also should include detailed plans and profiles of the sewers showing ground elevations, pipe sizes
and slopes, and the locations of any appurtenances and structures, such as manholes and lift stations.

Construction plans and details are also included for those appurtenances and structures.

New Manhole and


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Lead and Oakum Joints, Compression and No-Hub Joints
These types of joints are used to connect cast-iron soil pipes (CISP) and fittings. In lead and oakum joints,
oakum (made of hemp impregnated with bituminous compound and loosely twisted or spun into a rope or
yarn) is packed into the hub completely around the joint, and melted lead is poured over it.

In compression joints, an assembly tool is used to force the spigot end of the pipe or fitting into the lubricated
gasket inside the hub. A no-hub joint uses a gasket on the end of one pipe and a stainless steel shield and
clamp assembly on the end of the other pipe.

Mortar or Bituminous Joints

This type of joint is common to vitrified clay and concrete pipes and fittings. Mortar joints may be made of grout
(a mixture of cement, sand, and water).

The use of Speed Seal joints (rubber rings) in joining vitrified clay pipe has become widespread. Speed seal
joints eliminate the use of oakum and mortar joints for sewer mains. This type of seal is made a part of the
vitrified pipe joint when manufactured. It is made of polyvinyl chloride and is called a plastisol joint connection

Smoke testing is accomplished by

forcing a non-toxic smoke into the
sewer system and looking for
locations where it is improperly

These locations are considered

illegal connections in that they allow
stormwater directly or indirectly to
enter the sanitary sewer system.

Typical illegal connections found are

roof drains tied directly into the
system, abandoned customer sewer
lines that were not properly capped
as well as an occasional broken
sewer line.

Raising the Ring

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Looking down inside the manhole Camel or Vactor Truck

The sewer vacuum truck utilizes both a high pressure stream of water and a vacuum system to
clean and remove built up debris from sewer lines. These versatile vehicles are also used to clean
lift station wet wells, stormwater catch basins and to perform excavations to locate broken water or
sewer lines. It reduces repair times and costs by over 50%.

Various Jetter or hydraulic cleaning attachments

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A remotely controlled TV camera on the bottom is utilized by crews to identify and video tape problem
areas within the system. By using this equipment, staff can determine what the cause of the problem is,
what materials will be needed for repair, and where the problem area is. Repairs can be made quickly
without digging up large areas to find and correct a problem as was done in the past. There are many
reasons for inspecting sewer lines with a closed circuit television (CCTV). All of the following are valid
reasons; Locate sources of inflow and infiltration, locate buried manholes, and locate illegal sewer taps
such as industrial or storm drains.

The Televising Van should be equipped with two cameras, one color camera for televising main sanitary
lines and one black & white camera for televising house services (connection from the main sanitary line
to a house).

Root intrusion

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Low Pressure or Vacuum System Description and Operation
Vacuum collection and transportation systems can provide significant capital and ongoing operating cost
advantages over conventional gravity systems particularly in flat terrain, high water table or hard rock areas.
Vacuum sewer systems are installed at shallow depths significantly reducing excavation, shoring and
restoration requirements, and minimizing the disruption to the community. The alignment of vacuum mains is
extremely flexible, without the need for manholes at changes in grade or direction.

Vacuum sewer mains can skip over and around other services or obstacles and can be used to achieve uphill
flow. Turbulent velocities of 5 to 6m/sec are developed as the sewage and air passes through the interface
valve. This disintegrates solids and reduces the risks of sewer blockages which are unknown in a correctly
designed and constructed vacuum system.

No electricity is required at the interface valve, enabling the system to be installed in virtually any location.
Fractures in gravity systems may go undetected for a long time. A leak in a vacuum main will raise an alarm
within minutes of the break. The mains have to be repaired for sewage transport to continue, ensuring up to
date maintenance and eliminating deterioration and infiltration.

Due to the shallow depth of the installation, additional connections can be quickly and simply made by a small
construction crew, thus reducing the disruption and restoration work normally required for conventional gravity
sewers. Vacuum collection and transport systems have many applications in industry for collecting all forms of
liquid waste including toxic and radioactive fluids. Collection pipes may be installed above ground, overhead or
in utility ducts.

The versatility of the vacuum sewer system can be employed in a variety of locations and situations, such as:

• Rural community sewerage schemes

• Industrial redevelopments

• Camping and caravan sites

• New residential and industrial developments

• Existing towns (especially where narrow streets or congested service corridors occur)

• Diversion of small sea outfalls

• Hospital effluent collection

• Airports/Shopping centers

• Railway services

• Replacement of failed gravity systems

• Petrol-chemical industry

• Food processing plants

• Roof drainage

• Retrofitting factories for the management of segregated wastestreams.

• Collection of toxic and radioactive waste

• Condensate collection systems

• Factory sewerage

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• Leachate from landfills

• Spillage around tank farms

• Collecting used oil and fluids

• River and lakeside communities

• Quayside redevelopments

• Arctic communities
Vacuum Interface Valves interface between the vacuum within the vacuum mains and the atmospheric
pressure within the vacuum interface chamber. When sewage is entering the system from a source and the
sewage level in the chamber rises, it pressurizes air in the 63mm sensor line. This air pressure is transmitted
by a hose to the controller/sensor unit which opens the valve and the wastewater is rapidly drawn into the
vacuum main. Ale suction of the sewer creates a vortex in the sump and air is drawn into the sewer with the

As the valve opens, a pneumatic timer in the controller/sensor unit starts a pre-set time cycle. The timer holds
the valve open for sufficient time to draw all the sewage out of the sump and allows a designated amount of air
to enter the system.

The Iseki interface valve is capable of serving at least four equivalent tenements and multiple valve chambers
may be installed to serve higher flow rates. No electricity is required at the valve chamber. The vacuum valve
is automatically operated by the pressure generated with the rising sewage level and the pneumatic timer, and
actuated by the vacuum in the sewer.

Differential air pressure is the driving force in vacuum sewer systems. The vacuum sewer lines are under a
vacuum of 16"-20" Hg (-0.5 to -0.7 bar) created by vacuum pumps located at the vacuum station. The pressure
differential between the atmospheric pressure and the vacuum in the sewer lines of 7 to 10 psi (0.5 - 0.7 bar)
provides the energy required to open the vacuum interface valves and to transport the sewage.

Sewage flows by gravity from homes into a collection sump. When 10 gallons (40 liters) accumulates in the
sump, the vacuum interface valve located above the sump automatically opens and differential air pressure
propels the sewage through the valve and into the vacuum main.

Sewage flows through the vacuum lines and into the collection tank at the vacuum station. Sewage pumps
transfer the sewage from the collection tank to the wastewater treatment facility or nearby gravity manhole.
There are no electrical connections required at the home. Power is necessary only at the vacuum station.

Valve Pit Package

The Valve Pit Package connects the homes to the vacuum sewer system. Raw sewage flows by gravity from
up to four homes into a sealed fiberglass sump. Located above the sewage sump and surrounded by a
fiberglass valve pit is a 3" (90 mm) vacuum interface valve which is pneumatically controlled and operated.
Vacuum from the sewer line opens the valve and outside air from a breather pipe closes it.

Sewage level sensing is remarkably simple. As the sewage level rises, air trapped in the empty 2" (50 mm)
diameter sensor pipe pushes on a diaphragm in the valve's controller/sensor unit, signaling the valve to open.
When ten gallons of sewage accumulates in the sump the valve automatically opens. The differential air
pressure propels the sewage at velocities of 15-18 feet per second (4.5 - 5.5 m/s), disintegrating solids while
being transported to the vacuum station. The valve stays open for four to six seconds during this cycle.

Atmospheric air used for transport enters through the 4" (100 mm) screened air intake on the gravity line.
There are no odors at this air inlet due to the small volumes of sewage (10 gallons - 40 liters) and short
detention times in the sump. The valve is 3" and designed for handling of nominal 3" (75 mm) solids. Homes
connected to vacuum sewers don't require any special plumbing fixtures. Typically one valve pit package
serves two homes. Install the valve pit package in the street, if desired. With the optional traffic cast iron cover
the valve pit package has a water loading rating.

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Vacuum Lines
Vacuum sewer lines are installed in narrow trenches in a saw tooth profile for grade and uphill transport.
Vacuum lines follow grade for downhill transport. Vacuum lines are slightly sloped (0.2%) towards the
collection station. Unlike gravity sewers that must be laid at a minimum slope to obtain a 2 ft./sec. (0.6 m/s)
scouring velocity, vacuum has a flatter slope since a high scouring velocity is a feature of vacuum sewage

Line Sizes
The vacuum service line from the valve to the main in the street is 3" diameter (90 mm). The vacuum mains
are 4", 6", 8" and 10" diameter (110 mm to 250 mm) schedule 40 or SDR 21 gasketed PVC pipe. PE pipe can
also be used. In general, a potential vacuum loss is associated with every lift. This limits the length of each
vacuum line to about 2 to 3 miles (3 to 5 km) in flat terrain. Elevation changes can extend or reduce this range.
Longer distances are possible depending on local topography.

Vacuum Station
The vacuum station is similar in function to a lift station in a gravity sewer system. Sewage pumps transfer the
sewage from the collection tank through a force main to the treatment plant. Unlike a lift station, the vacuum
station has two vacuum pumps that create vacuum in the sewer lines and an enclosed collection tank.

Vacuum Pumps
The vacuum pumps maintain the system vacuum in the 16" to 20" mercury vacuum (-0.5 to -0.7 bar) operating
range. Vacuum pumps typically run 2 to 3 hours each per day (4 to 6 hours total) and don't need to run
continuously since the vacuum interface valves are normally closed. As sewage enters the system, driven by
air at atmospheric pressure, the system vacuum will slowly decrease from 20" to 16" Hg. The vacuum pumps
are sized to increase the system vacuum from 16" to 20" Hg in three minutes or less. Typical vacuum pump
sizes are 10, 15 and 25 horsepower (7.5, 11 and 18.6 kw). Busch rotary vane vacuum pumps are standard.
The two non-clog sewage pumps are each sized for peak flow.

The collection tank is steel or fiberglass and is sized according to flow with typical sizes ranging from 1,000 to
4,000 gallons (3.8 to 15 cubic meters). The incoming vacuum lines connect individually to the collection tank,
effectively dividing the system into zones. A stand-by generator keeps the vacuum sewer system in operation
during extended power outages. An automatic telephone dialer alerts the operator to alarm conditions.

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Pressure Sewers
Instead of relying on gravity, pressure sewers utilize the force supplied by pumps, which deliver the
wastewater to the system from each property. Since pressure sewers do not rely on gravity, the systems
network of piping can be laid in very shallow trenches that follow the contour of the land.

There are two kinds of pressure sewer systems, based upon the type of pump used to provide the pressure.
Systems that use a septic tank effluent pump combination are referred to as STEP pressure sewers. Like the
small diameter gravity system, STEP pressure sewers utilize septic tanks to settle out the solids; this allows for
the use of piping that is extremely narrow in diameter. The effluent pump delivers the wastewater to the sewer
pipes and provides the necessary pressure to move it through the system. The other type of pressure sewer
uses a grinder pump.

Wastewater from each property goes to a tank containing a pump with grinder blades that shred the solids into
tiny particles. Both solids and liquids are then pumped into the sewer system. Because the effluent contains a
mixture of solids as well as liquids, the diameter of the pipes must be slightly larger. However, grinder pumps
eliminate the need to periodically pump the septic tanks for all the properties connected to the system.

Both the STEP and grinder systems are installed with high water alarms. Because of the addition of the
pumps, pressure sewers tend to require more operation and maintenance than small diameter gravity sewers.
Operators can usually be hired on a part time basis, as long as someone is on call at all times. Operators will
need training on both the plumbing and electrical aspects of the system.

Vacuum Sewers
Wastewater from one or more homes flows by gravity to a holding tank known as the valve pit. When the
wastewater level reaches a certain level, sensors within the holding tank open a vacuum valve that allows the
contents of the tank to be sucked into the network of collection piping.

There are no manholes with a vacuum system; instead, access can be obtained at each valve pit. The vacuum
or draw within the system is created at a vacuum station. Vacuum stations are small buildings that house a
large storage tank and a system of vacuum pumps.

Vacuum sewer systems are limited to an extent by elevation changes of the land. Rolling terrain with small
elevation changes can be accommodated, yet steep terrain would require the addition of lift stations like those
used for conventional sewer systems. It is generally recommended that there be at least 75 properties per
pump station, for the use of a vacuum sewer system to be cost effective.

This minimum property requirement tends to make vacuum sewers most conducive for small communities with
a relatively high density of properties per acre. The maintenance and operation of this system requires a full-
time system operator with the necessary training. This can make the operation and maintenance costs of
vacuum sewers exceed those of other systems.

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Wastewater Collection Review Highlights
A person shall not bypass untreated sewage from a sewage treatment plant.

A person shall not install or maintain a connection between any part of a sewage treatment facility and a
potable water supply so that sewage or wastewater contaminates a potable or public water supply.

A Rodenticide is a type of chemical which can be used to control rats.

A Rotameter is a device which measures the flow of gases or liquids through a tapered calibrated glass
tube. Inside the tube, a ball or float rises as the flow of gas or liquid flows through the tube.

Area Maps are used at almost every system in the country. These maps of the system show the operator
the entire collection system.

Compounds containing sulfur that have an extremely offensive skunk-like odor are called Mercaptans.

Concrete will not hold up in corrosive environments.

I & I Exfiltration is a concern to wastewater collection operators because it may pollute ground water

Exfiltration can occur at joints and cracks, and overflows at manholes which can expose the public to

Flammable gas meters are calibrated to activate alarms when 10% of the lower explosion limit is reached.

In large-diameter sewer construction projects, the final inspection should include a ‘walk through’
inspection to verify that all construction tools and debris have been removed from the line.

Lateral and main sewers should generally be buried approximately six (6) feet deep.

Lamping is a procedure to establish that a section of pipe is straight and open. A bright source of light and
proper staffing of personnel for the operation must be present before lamping a section of pipe.

Lamping is a very economical and quick method of determining if a new sewer line is straight and

The best technique to use when lamping a sewer line is to hold the light steady in the center of the
opening, to check for an open and straight pipe, rotate the light around the inside of the pipe to check for
other problems.

Before excavating a section of sewer for replacement, upstream and downstream manholes should be
inspected to determine the volume of flow.

Gunite is commonly used in repairing concrete sewer lines, brick sewers, and manholes. This material is
used because of its high density and corrosion resistant qualities.

All the following items should be examined when inspecting manholes: Inside surfaces and joints for
cracks or breaks, Elevation of the lid, and listen for noises that indicate infiltration from cracked or broken

Manufactures specify that a vitrified clay pipe is 2,200 pounds per foot, this means the pipe will support this
load without cracking.

Microfilming printed records is used to consolidate records into a form that will use less storage than records
fulfill are a record of the past and a basis for future plans.

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Operators may encounter problems in gaining access to sewer lines which are located in easements. The
public should be informed of the agency's (collection system) right to perform inspection and maintenance
activities. These rules can be found in local sewer-use ordinances.

Proper tools, equipment and materials to do the job must be on the repair crew's truck before they drive to the
job site. The following is equipment is needed when installing a cleanout: Round point, square point and
narrow cut shovels, couplings, bushings and plastic plugs, Drill hammer, cold chisel and wonder bar

Records can become a problem when storage is needed to house volumes of paperwork.

An information management system must meet the needs of the collection system supervisor and the utility
personnel. The most common of these requirements are: Schedule preventative maintenance on pumps,
equipment and vehicles, Tracking and measurement of workforce productivity and Development of unit costs
and measurement of resource allocation.

The most valuable tools for future planning of collection system needs are Collection system records.

The best way to apply sewer test dye when a plumbing fixture is used is to dissolve the dye in water, turn on
the water and pour into the flow

Before smoking an area for locating leaks and improper connections, the supervisor should notify the public of
the testing. Local Fire and Police should also be notified before smoke testing a sewer line.

Exfiltration can be a source of pollution to the surrounding area. Smoke testing methods can detect the
location of the exfiltration.

Smoke testing sewer lines can be helpful in finding cracks and lost manholes. This type of inspection can also
find illegal connections to the sewer.

The collection system crew is smoke testing a line and the operators are told where to check for smoke
coming from the buildings and grounds. House vents are the only location from which smoke should be

The operator has smoke tested a section of line and found there is no smoke coming from a customer's vent
pipe. Dye testing the lateral line is appropriate to perform on the service line to confirm the sewer connection.

The operator is smoke testing a line for illegal connections and other problems. A Non-toxic, no residual effect
type smoke bombs should be used.

The collection system crew is going to dig a trench to remove a broken tap and main line.

The collection system is inspecting lines for inflow problems. The operators find many sources of inflow from
houses and buildings which increase flows during periods of wet weather. To eliminate these problems the
collection system needs to have in place a Sewer use ordinance.

The collection system operators have determined that a section of the sewer line is cracked. The direct
problem that occurs is infiltration and exfiltration. Many times one problem can create another one. Root
intrusion problems are related to a cracked sewer line.

The definition of 'sewage' is the untreated wastes from toilets, baths, sinks, lavatories, laundries, and other
plumbing fixtures in places of human habitation, employment, or recreation.

The elevation of the invert is typically represented on collection system maps.

The operator has repaired a break in an 8-inch sewer main. The trench is now ready for backfilling but first the
operator must bed the new section of pipe. Bed the new section 6 to 12 inches above the top of the pipe is the
proper method of bedding a sewer line.

The purpose of the scouring velocity in a sewer line is to prevent the deposit and buildup of solids.

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Rise over Run: The slope of gravity sewer lines is critical to maintain flow and self-cleaning of the pipe. Gravity
sewer lines should be designed to follow the slope of the land provided minimum slope is maintained.

The Specific Gravity of a liquid refers to the relative weight of a liquid compared to the weight of water at 4
degrees C.

A Polaroid or an instant camera is a typical piece of equipment found in the CCTV unit and provides operators
with a picture record, for log entries, of conditions of trouble spots in the lines.

If the CCTV operator announces that the line has a "Right Offset", the operator then knows that the line has a
misalignment problem.

The collection system CCTV has indicated that there are many
protruding taps in a section of lines. The protruding taps can be
repaired by the following methods: Remove section of line containing
the tap and install a factory made wye, Cut away the protruding tap
with a mechanical cutting system.

There are many reasons for inspecting sewer lines with a closed
circuit television (CCTV). All of the following are valid reasons:
Locate sources of inflow and infiltration, Locate buried manholes,
and Locate illegal sewer taps such as industrial or storm drains.

Clean sewers with a high velocity cleaner must be done before

performing a CCTV inspection.

The wastewater in a gravity collection system is conveyed by all of the following: An Interceptor sewer, Lift
Stations and Combined Sewer.

Two-way clean outs are often used on house laterals. These fittings are
typically a Tee fitting with a Baffle inside to better accommodate sewer-
cleaning equipment.

A grinder pump is a critical component found in the low-pressure collection


Pressure sewers may be installed instead of gravity sewers in areas

where the Slope is not practical to maintain gravity. Wastewater flow in
collection systems would be expected to be lowest at 4 a.m.

There are fewer stoppages and less infiltration and inflow with low-
pressure collection systems and there can be a major cost savings.

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Grease Chapter 5

A grease interceptor used in a commercial food service operation.

Most stoppages in the sewer are caused by grease. It is best to have a strong
Ordinance that prevents restaurants from dumping grease into the system, also a
process of back charging the restaurant that do clog the sewers for payment to

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If left unmanaged, grease can cause interference in wastewater collection, transmission, and treatment
systems. Blockages due to grease build-up are a common cause of sanitary sewer overflows, and grease
accumulation at treatment facilities can lead to pass-through of contaminants.

Proactive municipal governments should have a grease ordinance which provides them legal authority to
require that grease generators have devices to catch the grease before it enters the public wastewater system.
These devices are often referred to as "grease traps."

Grease build-up inside a sewer causing interference with flow.

Proactive municipal governments also have in place an inspection and enforcement program to ensure grease
generators clean the traps on an appropriate schedule and in a proper manner.

Failure to do so incurs a penalty levied by the municipality so there is incentive to correct problems before they
result in sanitary sewer overflows, interference, or pass-through. Proactive municipalities often have public
education programs to ensure non-commercial contributions of grease to the wastewater system are

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Cooking Grease
Did you know that cooking grease is one of the major causes of residential sewer main clogs resulting in
sewer spills?

Cooking grease coats pipelines much like fatty foods clog human arteries. The grease clings to the insides of
the pipe, eventually causing blockage and potential sewer spills. By following a few simple steps, you can help
prevent costly sewer spills in the future.

All cooking oil (this includes salad oil, frying oil and bacon fat) should be poured into an old milk
carton, frozen juice container, or other non-recyclable package, and disposed of in the garbage
Dishes and pots that are coated with greasy leftovers, should be wiped clean with a disposable towel
prior to washing or placing in the dishwasher
Instead of placing fat trimmings from meat down the garbage disposal, place them in a trash can

Grease Trap
The trap prevents excess grease from getting into the sewer system from existing plumbing lines within
facilities. Traps are small and are usually installed inside a facility. Generally, they range in size from 20
gallons per minute (gpm) to 50 gpm.

In-floor Grease trap being removed and replaced with a grease interceptor.
Very common in a Chinese or Mexican Restaurant.

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Grease Interceptors
High-volume or new establishments, use grease interceptors which are larger than the traps and are installed
underground, outside of a facility. Grease is actually "intercepted" in these concrete or Fiberglas tanks before
it reaches the City sewer main. Grease interceptors should be accessible by three manhole covers, and a
sample box. Interceptors and traps cause the flow of water to slow down, allowing the grease to naturally float
to the top of the tank for easy removal.

New Fiberglass three compartment grease interceptor. You will need to fill the interceptor with water
before connecting it to the sewer main.

Plan Checks and Inspections

All plans for new commercial food establishments (including new construction remodels and retrofits) should
receive a plan review from the POTW. This review assures that appropriate grease-removal equipment is
installed during construction.

Grease Blockages
Shortly after sewer-spills caused by grease are reported, POTW inspectors investigate facilities within the
immediate area. A determination is made as to which commercial facilities contributed to the blockage, and
more in-depth inspections are conducted at those facilities. Where appropriate, additional requirements and/or
procedures are put in place.

When requirements are made for additional grease-removal equipment, the facility is given a due date to
comply. A Notice of Violation, with an administrative fee is issued once a facility has passed its final due date.
Administrative hearings, permit revocation, and ultimately, termination of sewer service may occur for those
facilities that remain out of compliance.

Regular Grease Inspection

Regular inspection and maintenance is essential to the proper operation of a grease removal device. The local
ordinance should require a minimum cleaning frequency of once every six months. However, that frequency
will increase depending on the capacity of the device, the amount of grease in the wastewater, and the degree
to which the facility has contributed to blockages in the past.

Regular cleaning at the appropriate interval is necessary to maintain the rated efficiency of the device.
Equipment that is not regularly maintained puts the food service facility at risk of violating the sewer use
ordinance, and this may not be known until an overflow and violation have occurred.

Most POTWs suggest businesses start with quarterly cleanings and should be done when 75 percent of the
retention capacity of the unit is 75 percent full of accumulated grease. A large measuring stick and/or a clear
piece of conduit may be used to determined the depth of the depth of grease accumulation.

You should contract with a licensed grease hauler to remove it from your premises for appropriate disposal.

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Choosing a grease hauler
When selecting a grease hauler, be aware that services and prices can vary. Minimum services should
• Complete pumping and cleaning of the interceptor and sample box, rather than just skimming the grease
• Deodorizing and thorough cleaning of affected areas, as necessary.
• Disposal/reclamation at an approved location.
• Notes concerning the condition of the interceptor
• Complete pumping and cleaning record.

You and your hauler should agree on an adequate cleaning frequency to avoid blockage of the line. Waste
grease from a kitchen is recyclable for use in making soap, animal feed, etc. Grease from a grease trap or
interceptor may not be reused in this way. For recyclable grease, some POTWs recommend that all facilities
have waste grease containers, with tight fitting lids, that are either secondarily contained or kept in a bermed
area to protect floor drains and storm drain inlets from spills.

Keeping up-to-date records

Careful record keeping is one of the best ways to ensure that your grease removal device is being cleaned
and maintained on a regular basis. City codes and ordnances require records be maintained for a minimum of
three to five years.

Other types of devices

A grease trap may be approved in lieu of an interceptor for full service food service facilities only in very limited
circumstances when space is not available. Grease traps may also be approved by the Industrial Pretreatment
Program for facilities such as delicatessens and small bakeries that produce small quantities of oil, grease, or
fat. Refer to the International Plumbing Code for requirements related to grease traps such as installation of
flow-control devices, flow rates, and other structural requirements.

Please Note: flow restrictors are required for grease traps because they increase retention time and
efficiency. Automatic grease skimming devices collect small volumes of water and remove grease into a side
container at preset times each day. Usually, special approval from the Industrial Pretreatment Staff or the
POTW is required to install one of these devices in lieu of a grease interceptor.

Magic Grease “Bugs” and Bacterial Additives

Manufacturers of bacterial additives claim that their products remove grease and enhance the performance of
grease traps and interceptors. Such additives cannot be substituted for a grease removal device and regular
inspection and maintenance. If you decide to use an additive, make sure the product you select is not an
emulsifier, which simply keeps grease in suspension temporarily and allows it to flow to the sewer system.

Obtaining necessary permits

• Building departments prefer in-ground installations that drain by gravity to the sanitary sewer. Avoid pumps
and other mechanical devices in your connection to the sewer if possible.
• Size your interceptor or grease trap in accordance with the International Plumbing Code, IAPMO or local

Chain Cutter
This tool is attached to the flush truck. When water pressure is applied,
the 3 chains at the head spin at tremendous speeds. These spinning
chains will cut roots, grease build-up, and even a protruding tap. This
is a sewer line that has a large amount of grease buildup that will be
cut out. Grease gets into the sewer line by pouring grease left over
from cooking, down the kitchen sink.

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Pumps and Lift Stations Chapter 6

Lift Station: A facility in a sewer system consisting of a receiving chamber, pumping equipment and
associated drive and control devices which collect and lift wastewater to a higher elevation when
the continuance of the sewer at reasonable slopes would involve excessive trench depths; or that
collects and raises wastewater through the use of force mains from areas too low to drain into
available sewers. There should not be any odors coming from a Lift Station.

Pumping Station: A relatively large sewage pumping installation designed not only to lift sewage to
a higher elevation but also to convey it through force mains to gravity flow points located relatively
long distances from the pumping station.

Pumps at a temporary sewer manhole by-pass

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Pump Stations (a.k.a. "Lift Station")
Sewer pipes are generally gravity driven. Wastewater flows slowly downhill until it reaches a certain low
point. Then pump, or "lift," stations push the wastewater back uphill to a high point where gravity can once
again take over the process.
Lift stations are used in sanitary sewer systems where water is accumulated in wet wells and then pumped
to a higher elevation. They are generally designed to operate continuously to keep sewerage from
backing up through the system. That means that most lift stations have a backup
electrical supply in the event that normal power is disrupted.

Most Wastewater Collection systems will have installed radio telemetry, or SCADA
systems. The telemetry system is used to monitor and control pump stations via computer
at the WW Collections facility.

This system gives up to the minute pump station status such as wet well level, pump
performance, electrical power conditions, etc. This allows our technicians to prevent
wastewater spills and protect public health. Using telemetry we have the ability to identify
potential problems instantaneously and take the proper steps to rectify the situation before
it becomes a public health risk.
A Lift Station contains 4 main components:
• A wet well - usually 15+ ft. in depth and 8ft. in diameter - that houses two submersible pumps
(there are some stations with up to 5 submersibles) of varying horsepower, discharging piping and
floats that operate the pumps and keep a set level in the well.

• A dry well that houses the piping and valves that prevent backflow in the station, and can lock
connection used to bypass the submersibles in an emergency situation.

• An electrical panel houses control for the submersible pumps. It also houses the telemetry used to
monitor and control the station remotely.

• A “Log Book” or “Station Book” which contains the records and maps of the Lift Station’s area.

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Pump Section Objectives
What is a pump?

Identify different types of pumps and related parts.

Identify the main purpose of a motor starter.

Describe the main use of AC and DC


Describe the operations of level sensor


Identify and describe the most

commonly used pumps.

Identify the suction and discharge


Distinguish between discharge head,

total head, suction head, and suction lift.

Describe information to be obtained from pump performance graphs.

Identify types of couplings, bearings, seals and

other pump components.

Describe the importance of alignment of coupling.

Indicate when packing seals need to be replaced.

Describe cavitation.

Describe water hammer.

State the basic principles of positive displacement pumps.

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Pump Definitions (Larger Glossary in the rear of this manual)
Fluid: Any substance that can be pumped such as, oil, water, refrigerant, or even air.

Gasket: Flat material that is compressed between two flanges to from a seal.

Gland follower: A bushing used to compress the packing in the stuffing box and to control leakoff.

Gland sealing line: A line that directs sealing fluid to the stuffing box.

Horizontal pumps: Pumps in which the Center line of the shaft is horizontal.

Impeller: The part of the pump that increases the speed of the fluid being handled.

Inboard: The end of the pump closest to the motor.

Inter-stage diaphragm: A barrier that separates stages of a multi-stage pump.

Key: A rectangular piece of metal that prevents the impeller from rotating on the shaft.

Keyway: The area on the shaft that accepts the key.

Kinetic energy: Energy associated with motion.

Lantern ring: A metal ring located between rings of packing that distributes gland sealing fluid.

Leak-off: Fluid that leaks from the stuffing box.

Mechanical seal: A mechanical device that seals the pump stuffing box.

Mixed flow pump: A pump that uses both axial-flow and radial-flow components in one Im-

Multi-stage pumps: Pumps with more than one impeller.

Outboard: The end of the pump farthest from the motor.

Packing: Soft, pliable material that seals the stuffing box.

Positive displacement pumps: Pumps that move fluids by physically displacing the fluid inside
the pump.

Radial bearings: Bearings that prevent shaft movement in any direction outward from the cen-
ter line of the pump.

Radial flow: Flow at 90° to the center line of the shaft.

Retaining nut: A nut that keeps the part in place.

Rotor: The rotating parts, usually including the impeller, shaft, bearing housings and all other
parts included between the bearing housing and the impeller.

Score: To cause lines, grooves or scratches.

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Shaft: A cylindrical bar that transmits power from the driver to the pump impeller.

Shaft sleeve: A replaceable tubular covering on the shaft.

Shroud: The metal covering over the vanes of an impeller.

Slop drain: The drain from the area that collects leak-off from the stuffing box.

Slurry: A thick viscous fluid, usually containing small particles.

Stages: Impellers in a multi-stage pump.

Stethoscope: A metal device that can amplify and pinpoint pump sounds.

Strainer: A device that retains solid pieces while letting liquids through.

Stuffing box: The area of the pump where the shaft penetrates the casing.

Suction: The place where fluid enters the pump.

Suction eye: The place where fluid enters the pump impeller.

Throat bushing: A bushing at the bottom of the stuffing box that prevents packing from being
pushed out of the stuffing box into the suction eye of the impeller.

Thrust: Force, usually along the center line of the pump.

Thrust bearings: Bearings that prevent shaft movement back and forth in the same direction as
the center line of the shaft.

Troubleshooting: Locating a problem.

Vanes: The parts of the impeller that push and increase the speed of the fluid in the pump.

Vertical pumps: Pumps in which the center line of the shaft runs vertically.

Volute: The part of the pump that changes the speed of the fluid into pressure.

Wearing rings: Replaceable rings on the impeller or the casing that wear as the pump oper-

Progressive Cavity Pump

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Basic Water Pump
The water pumps in collection systems are centrifugal pumps. These pumps work by spinning water around in
a circle inside a cylindrical pump housing. The pump makes the water spin by pushing it with an impeller. The
blades of this impeller project outward from an axle like the arms of turnstile and, as the impeller spins, the
water spins with it. As the water spins, the pressure near the outer edge of the pump housing becomes much
higher than near the center of the impeller.

There are many ways to understand this rise in pressure, and here are two:
First, you can view the water between the impeller blades as an object traveling in a circle. Objects do not
naturally travel in a circle--they need an inward force to cause them to accelerate inward as they spin. Without
such an inward force, an object will travel in a straight line and will not complete the circle. In a centrifugal
pump, that inward force is provided by high-pressure water near the outer edge of the pump housing.

The water at the edge of the pump pushes inward on the water between the impeller blades and makes it
possible for that water to travel in a circle. The water pressure at the edge of the turning impeller rises until it is
able to keep water circling with the impeller blades.

You can also view the water as an incompressible fluid, one that obeys Bernoulli's equation in the appropriate
contexts. As water drifts outward between the impeller blades of the pump, it must move faster and faster
because its circular path is getting larger and larger. The impeller blades do work on the water so it moves
faster and faster. By the time the water has reached the outer edge of the impeller, it is moving quite fast.
However, when the water leaves the impeller and arrives at the outer edge of the cylindrical pump housing, it
slows down.

Here is where Bernoulli's equation figures in. As the water slows down and its kinetic energy decreases, that
water's pressure potential energy increases (to conserve energy). Thus, the slowing is accompanied by a
pressure rise. That is why the water pressure at the outer edge of the pump housing is higher than the water
pressure near the center of the impeller. When water is actively flowing through the pump, arriving through a
hole near the center of the impeller and leaving through a hole near the outer edge of the pump housing, the
pressure rise between center and edge of the pump is not as large.

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Types of Pumps

The most common type of wastewater pumps used for municipal and domestic water supplies are
variable displacement pumps. A variable displacement pump will produce at different rates relative to the
amount of pressure or lift the pump is working against. Centrifugal pumps are variable displacement pumps
that are by far used the most. The water production well industry almost exclusively uses Turbine pumps,
which are a type of centrifugal pump. The turbine pump utilizes impellers enclosed in single or multiple
bowls or stages to lift water by centrifugal force. The impellers may be of either a semi-open or closed
type. Impellers are rotated by the pump motor, which provides the horsepower needed to overcome the
pumping head. A more thorough discussion of how these and other pumps work is presented in the pump
section of this course. The size and number of stages, horsepower of the motor, and pumping head are the
key components relating to the pump’s lifting capacity.

Vertical turbine pumps are commonly used in groundwater wells. These pumps are driven by a shaft
rotated by a motor on the surface. The shaft turns the impellers within the pump housing while the water
moves up the column. This type of pumping system is also called a line-shaft turbine. The rotating shaft in
a line shaft turbine is actually housed within the column pipe that delivers the water to the surface. The size
of the column, impeller, and bowls are selected based on the desired pumping rate and lift requirements.
Column pipe sections can be threaded or coupled together while the drive shaft is coupled and suspended
within the column by spider bearings. The spider bearings provide both a seal at the column pipe joints and
keep the shaft aligned within the column. The water passing through the column pipe serves as the lubricant
for the bearings. Some vertical turbines are lubricated by oil rather than water. These pumps are essentially
the same as water lubricated units only the drive shaft is enclosed within an oil tube.

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Food grade oil is supplied to the tube through a gravity feed system during operation. The oil tube is
suspended with in the column by spider flanges while the line shaft is supported within the oil tube by brass
or redwood bearings. A continuous supply of oil lubricates the drive shaft as it proceeds downward through
the oil tube.

A small hole located at the top of the pump bow unit allows excess oil to enter the well. This results the
formation of an oil film on the water surface within oil-lubricated wells. Careful operation and of oil lubricated
turbines is needed to ensure that the pumping levels do not drop enough to allow oil to enter the pump.

Both water and oil lubricated turbine pumps units can be driven by an electric or fuel powered motors. Most
installations use an electric motor that is connected to the drive shaft by a keyway and nut. However, where
electricity is not readily available, fuel powered engines may be connected to the drive shaft by a right angle
drive gear. Also, both oil and water lubricated systems will have a strainer attached to the intake to prevent
sediment from entering the pump.

When the line shaft turbine is turned off water will flow back down the column, turning the impellers in a
reverse direction. A pump and shaft can easily be broken if the motor were to turn on during this process.
This is why a time delay or ratchet assembly is often installed on these motors to either prevent the motor
from turning on before reverse rotation stops or simply not allow it to reverse at all.

Submersible pumps are in essence very similar to turbine pumps. They both use impellers rotated by a shaft
within the bowls to pump water. However, the pump portion is directly connected to the motor. The
pump shaft has a keyway in which the splined motor end shaft inserts. The motor is bolted to the pump
housing. The pumps intake is located between the motor and the pump and is normally screened to prevent
sediment from entering the pump and damaging the impellers.

The efficient cooling of submersible motors is very important so these types of pumps are often installed
such that flow through the well screen can occur upwards past the motor and into the intake. If the motor end
is inserted below the screened interval or below all productive portions of the aquifer it will not be cooled,
resulting in premature motor failure.

Some pumps may have pump shrouds installed on them to force all the water to move past the motor to
prevent overheating. The shroud is a piece of pipe that attaches to the pump housing with an open end below
the motor. As with turbine pumps the size of the bowls and impellers, number of stages, and horsepower of
the motor are adjusted to achieve the desired production rate within the limitations of the pumping head.

Submersible and grinder type pumps

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The picture below illustrates the components that are common to all pump assemblies.

General Pumping Fundamentals

Illustration A Illustration B

Here are the important points to consider about suction piping when the liquid being pumped is below the
level of the pump.
• First, the term suction lift is when the level of water to be pumped is below the centerline of the pump.
Sometimes suction lift is also referred to as ‘negative suction head’.

• The ability of the pump to lift water is the result of a partial vacuum created at the center of the pump.

• This works similar to sucking soda from a straw. As you gently suck on a straw, you are creating a vacuum
or a pressure differential. Less pressure is exerted on the liquid inside the straw, so that the greater
pressure is exerted on the liquid around the outside of the straw causing the liquid in the straw to move up.
By sucking on the straw this allowed atmospheric pressure to move the liquid.

• Look at the diagram illustrated as “A”. The foot valve is located at the end of the suction pipe of a pump. It
opens to allow water to enter the suction side, but closes to prevent water from passing back out of the
bottom end.

• The suction side of the pipe should be one diameter larger than the pump inlet. The required eccentric
reducer should be turned so that the top is flat and the bottom tapered.

Notice in illustration “B” that the liquid is above the level of the pump. Sometimes this is referred to as ‘flooded
suction’ or ‘suction head’ situations.

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Points to Note are:

If an elbow and bell are used, they should be at least one pipe diameter from the tank bottom and side.

This type of suction piping must have a gate valve which can be used to prevent the flow when the pump
has to be removed.

In the illustrations you can see in both cases the discharge head is from the centerline of the pump to the level
of the discharge water. The total head is the difference between the two liquid levels.

Cut-away of a Centrifugal Pump

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Motor, Coupling, and Bearings
We will refer to the motor, coupling, and bearing. The
power source of the pump is usually an electric motor.
The motor is connected by a coupling to the pump
shaft. The purpose of the bearings is to hold the shaft
firmly in place, yet allow it to rotate. The bearing
house supports the bearings and provides a reservoir
for the lubricant. An impeller is connected to the shaft.

The pump assembly can be a vertical or horizontal set

up. The components for both are basically the same.
The purpose of this discussion on pump motors is to
identify and describe main types of motors, starters,
enclosures and motor controls, as well as to provide you with some basic maintenance and
troubleshooting information.

Although pumps could be driven by diesel or gasoline engines, pumps driven by electric motors
are commonly used in our industry.

There are two general categories of electric motors:

D-C motors, or direct current

A-C motors, or alternating current

You can expect most motors at facilities to be A-C type.

D-C Motors
The important characteristic of the D-C motor is that its speed will vary with the amount of
current used. There are many different kinds of D-C motors, depending on how they are
wound and on their speed/torque characteristics.

A-C Motors
There are a number of different types of alternating current motors such as Synchronous and
Induction; wound rotor and squirrel cage.

The synchronous type of A-C motor requires

complex control equipment, since they use a
combination of A-C and D-C. This also means that
the synchronous type of A-C motor is used in large
horsepower sizes, usually above 250 HP.

The induction type motor uses only alternating

current. The squirrel cage motor provides a
relatively constant speed and the wound rotor type
could be used as a variable speed motor.

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Motor Starters
All electric motors, except very small ones such as chemical feed pumps, are equipped with
starters, either full voltage or reduced voltage. This is because motors draw a much higher current
when they are starting and gaining speed. The purpose of the reduced voltage starter is to prevent
the load from coming on until the amperage is low enough.

How do you think keeping the discharge valve closed on a centrifugal pump could reduce the start
up load?

Motor Enclosures
Depending on the application, motors may need special protection. Some motors are referred to
as open motors. They allow air to pass through to remove heat generated when current passes
through the windings. Other motors use specific enclosures for special environments or safety

Can you think of any locations within your facility that requires special enclosures?

Two types of totally enclosed motors commonly used are:

TENV, or totally enclosed non-ventilated motor

TEFC, or totally enclosed fan cooled motor

Totally enclosed motors include dust-proof, water-proof and

explosion-proof motors. An explosion proof enclosure must
provided on any motor where dangerous gases might

Motor Controls
All pump motors are provided with some method of control,
typically a combination of manual and automatic. Manual
pump controls can be located at the central control panel at
the pump or at the suction or discharge points of the liquid
being pumped.

There are a number of ways in which automatic control of a pump motor can be

Pressure and vacuum sensors

Preset time intervals
Flow sensors
Level sensors

Two typical level sensors are the float sensor and the bubble regulator. The float sensor is pare
shaped and hangs in the wet well. As the height increases the float tilts and the mercury in the
glass tube flows toward the end of the tube that has two wires attached to it. When the mercury
covers the wires, it closes the circuit.

A low pressure air supply is allowed to escape from a bubbler pipe in the wet well. The back-
pressure on the air supply will vary with the liquid level over the pipe. Sensitive air pressure
switches will detect this change and use this information to control pump operation.

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Motor Maintenance
Motors should be kept clean, free of moisture, and lubricated properly. Dirt, dust, and grime
will plug the ventilating spaces and can actually form an insulating layer over the metal surface
of the motor.

What condition would occur if the ventilation becomes blocked?

List step-by-step ways that you would perform cleaning the motor in the space provided

Moisture harms the insulation on the windings to the point where they may no longer provide the
required insulation for the voltage applied to the motor. In addition, moisture on windings tend to
absorb acid and alkali fumes, causing damage to both insulation and metals. To reduce problems
caused by moisture, the most suitable motor enclosure for the existing environment will normally
be used. It is recommended to run stand by motors to dry up any condensation which
accumulated in the motor.

Motor Lubrication
Friction will cause wear in all moving parts, and lubrication is needed to reduce this friction. It
is very important that all your manufacturer's lubrications are strictly followed. You have to be
careful not to add too much grease or oil, this could cause more friction and generate heat.

To grease the motor bearings, this is the usual approach:

1. Remove the protective plugs and caps from the grease inlet and relief holes.
2. Pump grease in until fresh starts coming from the relief hole.
If fresh grease does not come out of the relief hole, this could mean that the grease has been
pumped into the motor windings. The motor must then be taken apart and cleaned by a
qualified service representative.

To change the oil in an oil lubricated motor, this is the usual approach:
1. Remove all plugs and let the oil drain.
2. Check for metal shearing.
3. Replace the oil drain.
4. Add new oil until it is up to the oil level plug.
5. Replace the oil level and filter plug. Never mix oils, since the additives of different oils
when combined can cause breakdown of the oil.

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Coupling Alignment
The pump coupling serves two main purposes:

• It couples or joins the two shafts together to transfer the rotation from motor
to impeller.

• It compensates for small amounts of misalignment between the pump and

the motor.

Remember that any coupling is a device in motion. If you have a 4 inch diameter coupling rotating
at 1800 rpm’s, its outer surface is traveling about 20 mph. With that in mind, can you think of
safety considerations?

There are three commonly used types of couplings: rigid, flexible, and V-belts.

Rigid Coupling
Rigid couplings are most commonly used on vertically mounted pumps. The rigid coupling is
usually specially keyed or constructed for joining the coupling to the motor shaft and the pump
shaft. There are two types of rigid couplings: the flanged coupling, and the split coupling.

Another type of coupling is the flexible coupling. The flexible coupling provides the ability to
compensate for small shaft misalignments.

Shafts should be aligned as close as possible regardless. The greater the misalignment, the
shorter the life of the coupling. Bearing wear and life are also affected by misalignment.

Alignment of Flexible and Rigid Couplings

Both flexible and rigid couplings must be carefully aligned before they are connected.

Misalignment will cause excessive heat and vibration, as well as bearing wear. Usually the
noise from the coupling will warn you of shaft misalignment problems.

Three types of shaft alignment problems are shown in the pictures below:



Different couplings will require different alignment procedures. We will look at the general
procedures for aligning shafts.
1. Place the coupling on each shaft.
2. Arrange the units so they appear to be aligned. (place shims under the legs of one of
the units to raise it.)
3. Check the run-out or difference between the driver and driven unit by rotating the
shafts by hand.
4. Turn both units so that the maximum run-out is on top.
Now you can check the units for both parallel and angular alignment. Many techniques are used
such as, straight edge, Needle deflection (dial indicators), calipers, Tapered wedges, and Laser

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V-Belt Drives
V-belt drives connect the pump to the motor. A pulley is mounted on the pump and motor shaft.
One or more belts are used to connect the two pulleys. Sometimes a separately mounted third
pulley is used. This idler pulley is located off centerline between the two pulleys, just enough to
allow tensioning of the belts by moving the idler pulley. An advantage of driving a pump with belts
is that various speed ratios can be achieved between the motor and the pump.

Shaft Bearings
There are three types of bearings commonly used, ball bearings, roller bearings, and sleeve
bearings. Regardless of the particular type of bearings used within a system; whether it is ball
bearings, a sleeve bearing, or a roller bearing, the bearings are designed to carry the loads
imposed on the shaft.

Bearings must be lubricated. Without proper lubrication, bearings will overheat and seize. Proper
lubrication means using the correct type and the correct amount of lubrication. Similar to motor
bearings, shaft bearings can be lubricated either by oil or by grease.

Top right, flexible flange coupling, Left, roller bearings, bottom, ball bearings.

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Pump Categories

Pumps may be classified on the basis of the application they serve. All pumps may be divided into
two major categories: (1) dynamic, in which energy is continuously added to increase the fluid
velocities within the machine, and (2) displacement, in which the energy is periodically added
by application of force.


Dynamic Displacement

Axial flow Mixed Flow Peripheral Reciprocating Rotary

Centrifugal pumps may be classified in several ways. For example, they may be either SINGLE
STAGE or MULTISTAGE. A single-stage pump has only one impeller. A multistage pump has two
or more impellers housed together in one casing.

Multi-stage bowls

As a rule, each impeller acts separately, discharging to the suction of the next stage impeller. This
arrangement is called series staging. Centrifugal pumps are also classified as HORIZONTAL or
VERTICAL, depending upon the position of the pump shaft.

The impellers used on centrifugal pumps may be classified as SINGLE SUCTION or DOUBLE
SUCTION. The single-suction impeller allows liquid to enter the eye from one side only. The
double-suction impeller allows liquid to enter the eye from two directions.
Impellers are also classified as CLOSED or OPEN.

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Closed impellers have side walls that extend from the eye to the outer edge of the vane tips. Open
impellers do not have these side walls. Some small pumps with single-suction impellers have only
a casing wearing ring and no impeller ring. In this type of pump, the casing wearing ring is fitted
into the end plate.

Recirculation lines are installed on some

centrifugal pumps to prevent the pumps from
overheating and becoming vapor bound in case
the discharge is entirely shut off or the flow of
fluid is stopped for extended periods. Seal
piping is installed to cool the shaft and the
packing, to lubricate the packing, and to seal
the rotating joint between the shaft and the
packing against air leakage. A lantern ring
spacer is inserted between the rings of the
packing in the stuffing box.

Seal piping leads the liquid from the

discharge side of the pump to the annular space formed by the lantern ring. The web of the
ring is perforated so that the water can flow in either direction along the shaft (between the
shaft and the packing). Water flinger rings are fitted on the shaft between the packing gland
and the pump bearing housing. These flingers prevent water from the stuffing box from flowing
along the shaft and entering the bearing housing.

During pump operation, a certain amount of leakage around the
shafts and casings normally takes place. This leakage must be
controlled for two reasons: (1) to prevent excessive fluid loss from
the pump, and (2) to prevent air from entering the area where the
pump suction pressure is below atmospheric pressure. The amount
of leakage that can occur without limiting pump efficiency determines
the type of shaft sealing selected. Shaft sealing systems are found in
every pump. They can vary from simple packing to complicated
sealing systems.

Packing is the most common and oldest method of

sealing. Leakage is checked by the compression of
packing rings that causes the rings to deform and seal
around the pump shaft and casing. The packing is
lubricated by liquid moving through a lantern ring in the
center of the packing. The sealing slows down the rate
of leakage. It does not stop it completely since a
certain amount of leakage is necessary during
operation. Mechanical seals are rapidly replacing
conventional packing on centrifugal pumps.

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Some of the Reasons for the use of Mechanical Seals are as Follows
1. Leaking causes bearing failure by contaminating the oil with water. This is a major problem
in engine-mounted water pumps.
2. Properly installed mechanical seals eliminate leakoff on idle (vertical) pumps. This design
prevents the leak (water) from bypassing the water flinger and entering the lower bearings.

Leakoff Causes Two Types of Seal Leakage

a. Water contamination of the engine lubrication oil.
b. Loss of treated fresh water that causes scale buildup in the cooling system.

Centrifugal pumps are versatile and have many uses. This type of pump is commonly used to
pump all types of water and wastewater flows including thin sludge.

We will look at the components of the centrifugal pump.

As the impeller rotates, it sucks the liquid into the center of the pump and throws it out under
pressure through the outlet. The casing that houses the impeller is referred to as the volute, the
impeller fits on the shaft inside. The volute has an inlet and outlet that carries the water as shown

How can we prevent the water from leaking along the shaft?

A special seal is used to prevent liquid leaking out along the shaft. There are two types of
seals commonly used:

• Packing seal
• Mechanical seal

Should packing have leakage? Yes…

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Lantern Rings
Lantern rings are used to supply clean water along the shaft. This helps to prevent grit and air
from reaching the area. Another component is the slinger ring. The slinger ring is an important part
of the pump because it is used to protect the bearings. Other materials can be used to prevent this

Mechanical Seals
Mechanical seals are commonly used to reduce leakage
around the pump shaft. There are many types of mechanical
seals. Similar to the packing seal, clean water is fed at a
pressure greater than that of the liquid being pumped. There is
little or no leakage through the mechanical seal. The wearing
surface must be kept extremely clean. Even fingerprints on the
wearing surface can introduce enough dirt to cause problems.

Should care be taken when storing mechanical seals?

Wear Rings
Not all pumps have wear rings. However, when they are included, they are usually replaceable.
Wear rings can be located on the suctions side and head side of the volute. Wear rings could be
made of the same metal but a different alloys. The wear ring on the head side is usually a harder

It’s called a “WEAR RING” and what would be the purpose?

Pump Casing
There are many variations of centrifugal pumps. The most common type is an end suction
pump. Another type of pump used is the split case. There are many variations of split case
such as, two-stage, single suction, and double suction. Most of these pumps are horizontal.

There are variations of vertical centrifugal pumps. The line shaft turbine is really a multistage
centrifugal pump.

In most centrifugal pumps, the impeller looks like a number of cupped vanes on
blades mounted on a disc or shaft. Notice in the picture below how the vanes of
the impeller force the water into the outlet of the pipe.

The shape of the vanes of the impeller is important. As the water is being thrown
out of the pump, this means you can run centrifugal pumps with the discharged
valve closed for a SHORT period of time. Remember the motor send energy
along the shaft and if the water is in the volute to long it will heat up and create
steam. Not good!

Impellers are designed in various ways. We will look at:

• Closed impellers
• Semi-open impellers
• Opened impellers, and
• Recessed impellers

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The impellers all cause a flow from the eye of the impeller to the
outside of the impeller. These impellers cause what is called
radial flow, and they can be referred to as radial flow impellers.

The critical distance of the impeller and how it is installed in the

casing will determine if it is high volume / low pressure or the
type of liquid that could be pumped.

Axial flow impeller looks like a propeller and create a flow that
is parallel to the shaft.

Pump Performance and Curves

Lets looks at the big picture. Before you make that purchase
of the pump and motor you need to know the basics such as:

• Total dynamic head, the travel distance.

• Capacity, how much water you need to provide.
• Efficiency, help determine the impeller size.
• HP, how many squirrels you need.
• RPM, how fast the squirrels run.

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Positive Displacement Pumps

There are many types of positive displacement

We will look at:
Plunger pumps
Diaphragm pumps
Progressing cavity pumps, and
Screw pumps
What kind of mechanical device do you think
is used to provide this positive displacement
in the:

Plunger pump?

Diaphragm pump?

In the same way, the progressing cavity, and the

screw are two other types of mechanical action that
can be used to provide movement of the liquid
through the pump.

Plunger pump
The plunger pump is a positive displacement pump that uses a plunger or piston to force liquid
from the suction side to the discharge side of the pump. It is used for heavy sludge. The
movement of the plunger or piston inside the pump creates pressure inside the pump, so you
have to be careful that this kind of pump is never operated against any closed discharge valve.

All discharge valves must be open before the pump is started, to prevent any fast build-up of
pressure that could damage the pump.

Diaphragm pumps
In this type of pump, a diaphragm provides the mechanical action used to force liquid from the
suction to the discharge side of the pump. The advantage the diaphragm has over the plunger is
that the diaphragm pump does not come in contact with moving metal. This can be important
when pumping abrasive or corrosive materials.

There are three main types of diaphragm pumps available:

Diaphragm sludge pump
Chemical metering or proportional pump
Air-powered double-diaphragm pump

Progressive Cavity Pumps

In this type of pump, components referred to as a rotor and an elastic
stator provide the mechanical action used to force liquid from the
suction to the discharge side of the pump. Progressing cavity pumps
are used to pump material very high in solids content. The progressive
cavity pump must never be run dry, because the friction between the
rotor and stator will quickly damage the pump.

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Screw Pumps
In this type of pump, a large screw provides the
mechanical action to move the liquid from the
suction to the discharge side of the pump. Here
are some typical characteristics of screw pumps:
Most screw pumps rotate in the 30 to 60
rpm range, although some screw pumps
are faster.
The slope of the screw is normally either
30° or 38°.
The maximum lift for the larger diameter
pumps is about 30 feet. The smaller
diameter pumps have lower lift

Motor and Pump Calculations

Motor hp Brake hp Water hp

Work involves the operation of force over a specific distance. The rate of doing work is called
power. The rate in which a horse could work was determined to be about 550 ft-lbs/sec or
33,000 ft-lbs/min.

1 hp = 33,000 ft-lbs/min

Motor Horsepower (mhp)

1 hp = 746 watts or .746 Kilowatts

MHP refers to the horsepower supplied in the form of electrical current. The efficiency of most
motors range from 80-95%. (manufactures will list eff. %)

Brake Horsepower (bhp)

Water hp
Brake hp = ---------------
Pump Efficiency

BHP refers to the horsepower supplied to the pump from the motor. As the power moves
through the pump, additional horsepower is lost, resulting from slippage and friction of the
shaft and other factors.

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Water Horsepower

(flow gpm)(total hd)

Water hp = ---------------------------
Water horsepower refers to the actual horse power available to pump the water.

Horsepower and Specific Gravity

The specific gravity of a liquid is an indication of its density or weight compared to water. The
difference in specific gravity, include it when calculating ft-lbs/min pumping requirements.

------------------------- = whp
33,000 ft-lbs/min/hp

MHP and Kilowatt Requirements

1 hp = 0.746 kW or (hp) (746 watts/hp)

1000 watts/kW

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Pump Troubleshooting Section
Some of the operating troubles you, as an Operator, may encounter with centrifugal pumps,
together with the probable causes are discussed in the following paragraphs.

If a centrifugal pump DOES NOT DELIVER ANY LIQUID, the trouble may be caused by (1)
insufficient priming; (2) insufficient speed of the pump; (3) excessive discharge pressure, such as
might be caused by a partially closed valve or some other obstruction in the discharge line; (4)
excessive suction lift; (5) clogged impeller passages; (6) the wrong direction of rotation (this may
occur after motor overhaul); (7) clogged suction screen (if used); (8) ruptured suction line; or (9)
loss of suction pressure.

If a centrifugal pump delivers some liquid but operates at INSUFFICIENT CAPACITY, the trouble
may be caused by (1) air leakage into the suction line; (2) air leakage into the stuffing boxes in
pumps operating at less than atmospheric pressure; (3) insufficient pump speed; (4) excessive
suction lift; (5) insufficient liquid on the suction side; (6) clogged impeller passages; (7) excessive
discharge pressure; or (8) mechanical defects, such as worn wearing rings, impellers, stuffing box
packing, or sleeves.

If a pump DOES NOT DEVELOP DESIGN DISCHARGE PRESSURE, the trouble may be caused
by (1) insufficient pump speed; (2) air or gas in the liquid being pumped; (3) mechanical defects,
such as worn wearing rings, impellers, stuffing box packing, or sleeves; or (4) reversed rotation of
the impeller (3-phase electric motor-driven pumps).

caused by (1) air leakage into the suction line; (2) air leakage in the stuffing boxes; (3) clogged
water seal passages; (4) insufficient liquid on the suction side; or (5) excessive heat in the liquid
being pumped.

If a motor-driven centrifugal pump DRAWS TOO MUCH POWER, the trouble will probably be
indicated by overheating of the motor. The basic causes may be (1) operation of the pump to
excess capacity and insufficient discharge pressure; (2) too high viscosity or specific gravity of the
liquid being pumped; or (3) misalignment, a bent shaft, excessively tight stuffing box packing,
worn wearing rings, or other mechanical defects.

VIBRATION of a centrifugal pump is often caused by (1) misalignment; (2) a bent shaft; (3) a
clogged, eroded, or otherwise unbalanced impeller; or (4) lack of rigidity in the foundation.
Insufficient suction pressure may also cause vibration, as well as noisy operation and fluctuating
discharge pressure, particularly in pumps that handle hot or volatile liquids.

If the pump fails to build up pressure when the discharge valve is opened and the pump comes up
to normal operating speed, proceed as follows:
1. Shut the pump discharge valve.
2. Secure the pump.
3. Open all valves in the pump suction line.
4. Prime the pump (fill casing with the liquid being pumped) and be sure that all air is expelled
through the air cocks on the pump casing.
5. Restart the pump. If the pump is electrically driven, be sure the pump is rotating in the correct
6. Open the discharge valve to “load” the pump. If the discharge pressure is not normal when the
pump is up to its proper speed, the suction line may be clogged, or an impeller may be broken. It
is also possible that air is being drawn into the suction line or into the casing.

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If any of these conditions exist, stop the pump and continue troubleshooting according to the
technical manual for that unit.

Maintenance of Centrifugal Pumps

When properly installed, maintained and operated, centrifugal pumps are usually trouble-free.
Some of the most common corrective maintenance actions that you may be required to perform is
discussed in the following sections.

Lubrication of the pump packing is extremely important. The quickest way to wear out the packing
is to forget to open the water piping to the seals or stuffing boxes. If the packing is allowed to dry
out, it will score the shaft. When operating a centrifugal pump, be sure there is always a slight
trickle of water coming out of the stuffing box or seal.

How often the packing in a centrifugal pump should be renewed depends on several facts; such
as the type of pump, condition of the shaft sleeve, and hours in use.

To ensure the longest possible service from pump packing, make

certain the shaft or sleeve is smooth when the packing is removed from
a gland. Rapid wear of the packing will be caused by roughness of the
shaft sleeve (or shaft where no sleeve is installed). If the shaft is rough,
it should be sent to the machine shop for a finishing cut to smooth the
surface. If it is very rough, or has deep ridges in it, it will have to be
renewed. It is absolutely necessary to use the correct packing. When
replacing packing, be sure the packing fits uniformly around the stuffing
box. If you have to flatten the packing with a hammer to make it fit, YOU

Pack the box loosely, and set up the packing gland lightly. Allow a
liberal leak-off for stuffing boxes that operate above atmospheric
pressure. Next, start the pump. Let it operate for about 30 minutes
before you adjust the packing gland for the desired amount of leak-off.
This gives the packing time to run-in and swell. You may then begin to adjust the packing gland.
Tighten the adjusting nuts one flat at a time. Wait about 30 minutes between adjustments. Be sure
to tighten the same amount on both adjusting nuts.

If you pull up the packing gland unevenly (or

cocked), it will cause the packing to overheat
and score the shaft sleeves. Once you have the
desired leak-off, check it regularly to make
certain that sufficient flow is maintained.

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Pumping and Lift Station Chapter Highlights
In general, any Centrifugal pump can be designed with a multistage configuration. Each stage
requires an additional Impeller and casing chamber in order to develop increased pressure, which
adds to the pressure developed by the preceding stage.

In all centrifugal pumps, there must be a flow restriction between the Impeller discharge and suction
areas that will prevent excessive circulation of water between the two parts.

When a pump operates under suction, the impeller inlet is actually operating in a vacuum. Air will
enter the water stream along the shaft if the packing does not provide an effective seal. It may be
impossible to tighten the packing sufficiently to prevent air from entering without causing excessive
heat and wear on the packing and shaft or shaft sleeve. To solve this problem, a Lantern Ring is
placed in the Stuffing Box.

A Centrifugal pump is consisting of an impeller fixed on a rotating shaft that is enclosed in a casing,
and having an inlet and discharge connection. As the rotating impeller spins the liquid around,
force builds up enough pressure to force the water through the discharge outlet.

The Foot Valve is a special type of check valve. It is located at the bottom end of the suction on a
pump. This valve opens when the pump operates to allow water to enter the suction pipe but
closes when the pump shuts off to prevent water from flowing out of the suction pipe.

A pump engineer will design a system that would use multiple pumps for a parallel operation: To
provide for a fluctuating demand, To provide an increased discharge head, To reduce the friction
coefficient on a larger pump for greater efficiency.

The intent of a designer when multiple water pumps are installed for paralleled operation is to
provide for a fluctuating demand or for if one pump is out of service.

If the pump must operate under high suction head, the suction pressure itself will compress the
packing rings regardless of the operator’s care. Packing will then require frequent replacement.
Most manufactures recommend using Mechanical Seals for low-suction head conditions as well.

The mechanical seal is designed so that it can be hydraulically balanced. The result is that the
wearing force between the machined surfaces does not vary regardless of the suction head. Most
seals have an operating life of 5,000 to 20,000 hours.

The axial-flow pump is often referred to as a Propeller Pump.

On most kilowatt meters, the current kilowatt load is indicated by disk revolutions.

A single-phase motor is receiving adequate power and the run windings are operable, but the motor
will not start, there is problem with the start winding. A single-phase motor which has a capacitor
start motor has a high starting torque and a high starting current.

The speed at which the magnetic field rotates is called the motor’s synchronous speed. It is
expressed in revolutions per minute. For a motor that operates on an electric power system having
a frequency of 60Hz, the maximum synchronous speed is 3,600 rpm, or 60 revolutions per second.
In other words, because the electric current changes its flow direction 60 times a second, the rotor
can rotate 60 times per second. A two-pole motor achieves this speed.

The winding insulation may deteriorate and is the most likely choice for the result of grease coming
in to contact with the windings for a motor.
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An electric motor that has a frequency of 60Hz will have a maximum synchronous speed of 3600

As the wear ring inside a centrifugal pump looses tolerance between the impeller and wear ring, the
efficiency of the pump will decrease.

Multistage centrifugal pumps can discharge high-pressure water. The pressure increases with the
number of stages but what happens to the capacity/ flow of the pump, the flow will remain the same
through each stage.

With remote manual control, the operator is also required to turn a switch or push a button to
operate equipment. Control devices which actuate equipment by inducing a magnetic field in the
device are commonly known as solenoids.

Mechanical seals consist of two machined and polished surfaces which must contact each other.
This contact is maintained by spring pressure.

Wound-rotor induction motor would be expected to have the lowest demand for starting current.

The purpose of a sump on a vertical turbine pump is used to maintain adequate liquid above the
suction level.

Friction Loss is the term used to describe head pressure or energy lost by water flowing in a pipe or
channel as a result of turbulence caused by the velocity of the flowing water and the roughness of
the pipe, channel walls, and restrictions by fittings.

Continuous leakage from a mechanical seal indicates an abnormal condition.

To properly maintain a standard three-phase variable speed synchronous AC motor you must have
some idea of what to look for when examining the slip rings and brushes. The slip ring for a film
should be examined before startup.

Lift Station Controls

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A qualified operator is testing an electrical circuit for proper voltage. The incoming voltage is
220 VAC, single-phase power. The operator places one of the tester leads on Ll and the other
on the neutral wire. The expected voltage when testing these two wires should be 110 volts.

Electric motors burn out for many reasons, but 70% of motor failures can be controlled by the
operator and proper maintenance. The following are causes of motor insulation failure: Overloading
the motor, Single phasing three phase motors, Contamination of the windings area.

Molded-case circuit breakers typically require little maintenance. Inspect for evidence of over-
heating. Manually trip the circuit breaker periodically and check connections for tightness are
recommended maintenance on these circuit breakers.

Replacing entire contact set when surface is badly pitted and eroded with badly feathered and lifting
edges is the recommended practice for maintaining the stationary and movable contacts in a motor

The greatest cause of failure in electric motors is thermal overload.

The operator is testing a coil from a control relay using an ohmmeter. The power to coil must be off
when using the ohmmeter to check out this type of component.

A circuit is tested with an Ohmmeter and is found to be defective. The most likely reading is Infinity.

Most failures at a lift station can be avoided by proper preventive maintenance.

The operator has just installed a repaired motor in a pumping station. The motor is started but it
never comes up to speed. The following are possible reasons for the malfunction: Incorrect power
supply, Motor is overloaded and/or incorrectly wired.

Enclosed electrode controls are sometimes used in lift stations to control pumps.

The operator is responding to an odor complaint at a lift station. The operator goes to the station
and finds the source of the problem and corrects the situation. Notify the person who complained
about the situation.

The pneumatic ejector at a small lift station is cycling too often. The flow into the tank is low but the
ejector pumps frequently, a discharge valve is stuck open may be the possible cause for this

Check valves are installed on the discharge side of sump pumps in dry wells to prevent flooding of
the dry well by backflow due to back siphoning.

Many pumps are outfitted with mechanical seals to prevent water from leaking out of the pump. The
seal faces must be protected. Keeping fresh water on the faces of the seal is an important
maintenance task to be performed by the operator to prevent damage to the seal faces.

Relief valves on the discharge side of pumps are used in order to prevent injuries or severe
damage to piston pumps.

Submersible pumps are commonly used in lift stations. Preventive maintenance is important to
ensure that motor windings are not burned. A Megger is used to determine if moisture is entering
the motor through the pump.

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The following procedures are considered a standard practice when installing packing rings in a
pump: Stagger the joints of rings to avoid having tow joints at the same position. Cut packing rings
so they are all the correct length. Packing rings should be of materials recommended by the pump

The operator has just changed the grease in the bearings of a motor, the Operator should run the
motor for 30 minutes then install the drain plug.

The operator has noticed the centrifugal pump is making noise and the efficiency of the pump is
lowering. The pump is dismantled and the impeller has pits on all the vanes. This is usually
caused by pump cavitation. Cavitation inside the pump is a possible cause of the pits.

The operator removes a submersible pump from a wet well. The pump is an oil-filed motor. The
inspection plug is opened and a small amount of fluid is poured into a beaker. The fluid is an
emulsion of oil and water. Mechanical seals that may be leaking could be the probable cause.

The term Ambient Temperature means the surrounding temperature.

A qualified operator is testing an electrical circuit for proper voltage. The incoming voltage is 220
VAC, single-phase power. The operator places one of the tester leads on Ll and the other on the
neutral wire. 110 volts is the expected voltage when testing these two wires.

Brinelling is tiny indentations high on the shoulder of the bearing race.

Lift Station

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Hydrogen Sulfide Chapter 7

The effects of Sulfuric acid created by Hydrogen Sulfide gas.

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Hydrogen Sulfide Gas
This Chapter provides answers to basic questions about hydrogen sulfide gas. It will explain what hydrogen
sulfide gas is, where it is found, how it can affect your health, and what you can do to prevent or reduce
exposure to it.
Hydrogen sulfide gas is also known as “sewer gas” because it is often produced by the decay of waste
material. Hydrogen sulfide gas has a strong odor at low levels. At higher levels, your nose can become
overwhelmed by the gas and you cannot smell it. At these higher levels, hydrogen sulfide gas can make you
sick and even kill you.

Hydrogen Sulfide Gas

If you wait for a warning, it may be too late
Hydrogen sulfide is a powerful and deadly gas which smells like rotten eggs at low concentrations and has a
sweet smell at high concentrations. But workers should not rely on the smell as a warning. At high
concentrations H2S may overcome one's sense of smell. The result could be instant death. Long exposure to
low concentrations will also deaden the sense of smell.

What it is
H2S is explosive - it will ignite and explode when subjected to a spark or ordinary flame - in any concentration
from 4% to 44% of the air. It is also soluble in water and oil, so it may flow for a considerable distance from its
origin before escaping above ground or in an entirely unexpected place. Because the vapor (gas) is heavier
than air, it may travel for a long way until ignited and then flash back towards the source.

Hydrogen sulfide is found in large amounts in the wastewater collection system.

H2S Sources
H2S is found widely in industry and few workers are warned of its dangers or their exposure. It is formed by the
decomposition of organic materials, so it is found in sewers, and cesspools.

Health Effects of H2S acute exposure

First of all, and most important, H2S can kill you. The extent of acute poisoning danger depends on the
concentration of H2S in the atmosphere.

When you breathe in H2S, it goes directly through your lungs and into your bloodstream. To protect itself, your
body "oxidizes" (breaks down) the H2S as rapidly as possible into a harmless compound. If you breathe in so
much H2S that your body can't oxidize all of it, the H2S builds up in the blood and you become poisoned. The
nervous centers in your brain which control breathing are paralyzed. Your lungs stop working and you are
asphyxiated - just as though someone had come up and put their hands around your neck and strangled you.

A worker can be overcome by H2S and lose consciousness in a few seconds; luckily if he is rescued in time
and is given artificial respiration within a few minutes, the worker may recover. Either artificial mouth-to-mouth
or an oxygen supply system of resuscitation will work if it is done in time, because, with an adequate source of
oxygen and no further H2S intake, the body will quickly break down the H2S still in the blood.
This is acute poisoning. It can occur with no warning at all, since even the sense of smell may be overcome,
and it can be fatal within a few seconds. Although acute poisoning is deadly if it is not caught in time, when
caught and treated it is reversible and this is why rescue attempts with proper safety equipment are so
important. Recent evidence has shown irreversible brain damage from acute high doses.
Chronic Effects
H2S can also cause a wide range of sub-acute and chronic effects. At very low concentrations of 10-100 ppm.
headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting may develop, together with irritation of the eyes and respiratory
tract (the lungs and trachea and bronchi, or air pipes from the nose and mouth to the lungs). The eyes become
red, sore, inflamed, and sensitive to light. Respiratory system effects include cough, pain in the nose and
throat, and painful breathing.
If exposure at low levels continues, the worker may develop a state of chronic poisoning. In addition to eye
and respiratory tract irritation, there will be a slowed pulse rate, fatigue, insomnia, digestive disturbances, and
cold sweats.

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More dangerous, if exposure at the level of 100 ppm (which results in eye and respiratory tract irritation and
drowsiness after 15 minutes) lasts for several hours, it may result in death within the next 48 hours.

Symptoms of chronic exposures at low levels are conjunctivitis (eye infections), headache, attack of dizziness,
diarrhea, and loss of weight. Chronic hydrogen sulfide intoxication is marked by headaches, eye disorders,
chronic bronchitis, and a grey-green line on the gums. Reports of nervous system disorders including
paralysis, meningitis, and neurological problems have been reported, but not confirmed.

A study of workers and community residents of a California Wastewater Treatment facility froum
complained of headaches, nausea, vomiting, depression, personality changes, nosebleeds and breathing
difficulties. When compared to a non-exposed group of people, the exposed people showed abnormalities
of color discrimination, hand-eye coordination, balance, and mood disturbances. In rats, exposure to
hydrogen sulfide has caused teratogenic effects.
How much is safe?
The OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for a ceiling concentration is 20 ppm hydrogen sulfide, a level
which may not ever be exceeded. The acceptable maximum peak, for 10 minutes only, once during an 8 hour
day if there is no other measurable exposure, is 50 ppm.

There is no time-weighted average

because H2S is so fast-acting that no
fluctuations above 20 ppm are safe; only
one peak per day is allowed.

This level is too high and recent

recommendations are that it be lowered to
10 ppm. You should remember, however,
that H2S is an invisible gas, floating freely
and unpredictably, and a reading even
below a 10 ppm Permissible Exposure
Limit (PEL) may not guarantee your safety.
There are no particular medical exams for
exposure to H2S.

Work practices and emergency

Whenever you enter a confined space
such as a tank, make sure that you follow
strict work practices, including a permit system. Make sure that the Confined Space Entry Standard 1910.146
is followed, that the air is continually monitored for the presence of H2S, and that a buddy be stationed outside
a confined space. Both of you should wear supplied air and lifelines and rescue equipment must be
immediately available.
If you work with H2S make sure that:
Your employer has trained you in the hazards of H2S.
Your employer has appropriate rescue equipment on-site.

Hazard Information Bulletin:

Following are excerpts from a Hazard Bulletin issued by OSHA after a fatality due to H2S exposure.
Fundamentally, employers and employees must be alert to the fact that working with a "closed system" does
not always ensure safety. Operations involving the opening of valves or pumps on otherwise closed systems
or working on such equipment that is not isolated or locked out are particular sources of danger. When a
normally closed system is opened, the potential exists for releasing hazardous chemicals into the workers'
breathing zones in unknown concentrations.

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Hydrogen Sulfide Highlights
Hydrogen sulfide problems are very common in the collection system. There are many
chemicals used to help or treat this problem. Lime, Hydrogen peroxide and Chlorine are used in
the treatment of hydrogen sulfide problems.

Hydrogen sulfide production in collection systems can cause a number of problems including all
of the following: Corrosion, Hazardous atmosphere and Foul odors.

The best method of controlling hydrogen sulfide is to eliminate its habitat or growth area by
keeping sewers cleaner, which will harbor fewer slime bacteria.

The following statements regarding the reduction of hydrogen sulfide are true: Salts of zinc and
iron may precipitate sulfides, Lime treatments can kill bacteria which produce hydrogen sulfide,
but create a sludge disposal problem, and Chlorination is effective at reducing the bacteria
which produce hydrogen sulfide.

Hydrogen sulfide conditions occur in the sewer system because of the lack of Oxygen.

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Common Wastewater Treatment System Hazards

Explosive / Flammable Atmospheres

Toxic Atmospheres
Slips & falls
Chemical Exposure
Electric Shock
Thermal / Chemical Burns
Noise & Vibration

Hazard Controls

Engineering Controls
Locked entry points Inside a Wet Well
Temporary ventilation
Temporary Lighting

Administrative Controls
Employee training
Entry procedures
Atmospheric Monitoring
Rescue procedures
Use of prescribed Personal Protective

Entry Standard Operating Procedures

This program outlines:
Hazard Control & Abatement
Acceptable Entry Conditions
Means of Entry
Entry Equipment Required Confined Space
Emergency Procedures

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Other Excavation and Confined Space Hazards
Flammable Atmospheres
A flammable atmosphere generally arises from enriched oxygen atmospheres, vaporization of
flammable liquids, byproducts of work, chemical reactions, concentrations of combustible dusts, and
desorption of chemicals from inner surfaces of the confined space. An atmosphere becomes
flammable when the ratio of oxygen to combustible material in the air is neither too rich nor too lean
for combustion to occur. Combustible gases or vapors will accumulate when there is inadequate
ventilation in areas such as a confined space.

Flammable gases such as acetylene, butane, propane, hydrogen, methane, natural or manufactured
gases or vapors from liquid hydrocarbons can be trapped in confined spaces, and since many gases
are heavier than air, they will seek lower levels as in pits, sewers, and various types of storage tanks
and vessels. In a closed top tank, it should also be noted that lighter than air gases may rise and
develop a flammable concentration if trapped above the opening. The byproducts of work procedures
can generate flammable or explosive conditions within a confined space. Specific kinds of work such
as spray painting can result in the release of explosive gases or vapors. Welding in a confined space
is a major cause of explosions in areas that contain combustible gas. Chemical reactions forming
flammable atmospheres occur when surfaces are initially exposed to the atmosphere, or when
chemicals combine to form flammable gases. This condition arises when dilute sulfuric acid reacts
with iron to form hydrogen or when calcium carbide makes contact with water to form acetylene. Other
examples of spontaneous chemical reactions that may produce explosions from small amounts of
unstable compounds are acetylene-metal compounds, peroxides, and nitrates. In a dry state, these
compounds have the potential to explode upon percussion or exposure to increased temperature.

Another class of chemical reactions that form flammable atmospheres arise from deposits of
pyrophoric substances (carbon, ferrous oxide, ferrous sulfate, iron, etc.) that can be found in tanks
used by the chemical and petroleum industry. These tanks containing flammable deposits will
spontaneously ignite upon exposure to air. Combustible dust concentrations are usually found during
the process of loading, unloading, and conveying grain products, nitrated fertilizers, finely ground
chemical products, and any other combustible material.

High charges of static electricity, which rapidly accumulate during periods of relatively low humidity
(below 50%), can cause certain substances to accumulate electrostatic charges of sufficient energy to
produce sparks and ignite a flammable atmosphere. These sparks may also cause explosions when
the right air or oxygen to dust or gas mixture is present.

Toxic Atmospheres
The substances to be regarded as toxic in a confined space can cover the entire spectrum of gases,
vapors, and finely-divided airborne dust in industry. The sources of toxic atmospheres encountered
may arise from the following:

1. The manufacturing process (for example, in producing polyvinyl chloride, hydrogen

chloride is used as will as vinyl chloride monomer, which is carcinogenic).
2. The product stored [removing decomposed organic material from a tank can liberate
toxic substances, such as hydrogen sulfide (H2S)].
3. The operation performed in the confined space (for example, welding or brazing with
metals capable of producing toxic fumes).
During loading, unloading, formulation, and production, mechanical and/or human error may
also produce toxic gases which are not part of the planned operation.

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Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a hazardous gas that may build up in a confined space. This odorless,
colorless gas that has approximately the same density as air is formed from incomplete combustion of
organic materials such as wood, coal, gas, oil, and gasoline; it can be formed from microbial
decomposition of organic matter in sewers, silos, and fermentation tanks. Carbon monoxide is an
insidious toxic gas because of its poor warning properties. Early stages of CO intoxication are nausea
and headache. Carbon monoxide may be fatal at 1000 ppm or 10% in air, and is considered
dangerous at 200 ppm or 2%, because it forms Carboxyhemoglobin in the blood which prevents the
distribution of oxygen in the body.

Carbon monoxide is a relatively abundant colorless, odorless gas, therefore, any untested
atmosphere must be suspect. It must also be noted that a safe reading on a combustible gas indicator
does not ensure that CO is not present. Carbon monoxide must be tested for specifically. The
formation of CO may result from chemical reactions or work activities, therefore fatalities due to CO
poisoning are not confined to any particular industry. There have been fatal accidents in sewage
treatment plants due to decomposition products and lack of ventilation in confined spaces. Another
area where CO results as a product of decomposition is in the formation of silo gas in grain storage
elevators. In another area, the paint industry, varnish is manufactured by introducing the various
ingredients into a kettle, and heating them in an inert atmosphere, usually town gas, which is a
mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen.

In welding operations, oxides of nitrogen and ozone are gases of major toxicologic importance, and
incomplete oxidation may occur and carbon monoxide can form as a byproduct.

Irritant (Corrosive) Atmospheres

Irritant or corrosive atmospheres can be divided into primary and secondary groups. The primary
irritants exert no systemic toxic effects (effects on the entire body). Examples of primary irritants are
chlorine, ozone, hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, sulfuric acid, nitrogen dioxide, ammonia, and
sulfur dioxide. A secondary irritant is one that may produce systemic toxic effects in addition to
surface irritation. Examples of secondary irritants include benzene, carbon tetrachloride, ethyl
chloride, trichloroethane, trichloroethylene, and chloropropene.

Irritant gases vary widely among all areas of industrial activity.

They can be found in plastics plants, chemical plants, the petroleum industry, tanneries, refrigeration
industries, paint manufacturing, and mining operations. Prolonged exposure at irritant or corrosive
concentrations in a confined space may produce little or no evidence of irritation. This may result in a
general weakening of the defense reflexes from changes in sensitivity. The danger in this situation is
that the worker is usually not aware of any increase in his/her exposure to toxic substances.

Asphyxiating Atmospheres
The normal atmosphere is composed approximately of 20.9% oxygen and 78.1% nitrogen, and 1%
argon with small amounts of various other gases. Reduction of oxygen in a confined space may be
the result of either consumption or displacement. The consumption of oxygen takes place during
combustion of flammable substances, as in welding, heating, cutting, and brazing.

A more subtle consumption of oxygen occurs during bacterial action, as in the fermentation process.
Oxygen may also be consumed during chemical reactions as in the formation of rust on the exposed
surface of the confined space (iron oxide). The number of people working in a confined space and the
amount of their physical activity will also influence the oxygen consumption rate.

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Safety Chapter Highlights
An atmospheric analyzer will have an audible and visible alarm that will warn when the flammable
gases exceed 10%.

The operator has installed a screw jack between the solid sheeting material for shoring a trench. To
ensure safe conditions in the trench the operator needs to perform which additional task on the
screw jacks, drive nails into the base of the jack and timbers.

The operator is installing air shores. The carbon dioxide tank is used to fill the cylinders which
reinforce the trench walls. The cylinders are pressurized to 300 PSI. Now what is the next step in
using this type of shoring equipment, insert a metal pin behind the collar to form a mechanical lock.

Upon entering a confined space, your oxygen meter indicates an oxygen concentration of 22.9%.
The appropriate course of action is evacuate the area immediately.

A confined space is defined as an area where existing ventilation is inadequate to remove

contaminants or provide a sufficient air supply. What other criterion defines a confined space
areas that are difficult to enter or evacuate.

An alternative to screw jacks as a shoring brace is Air shores.

Atmospheric monitors continuously sample the atmosphere

for which of the following levels: Toxicity, Oxygen,

Driving: If the operator is confronted by an unsafe or

discourteous driver while driving a treatment plant vehicle,
he should swallow his pride and handle the situation with

Hydraulic shores are used due to their ease of installation and

removal. However, they are usually not used on jobs for a
time period greater than five (5) days, because there is a
possibility of the hydraulic pressure bleeding off during a time
period longer than five (5) days.

Hydraulic shoring fluid is the only fluid recommended for use

in hydraulic shoring equipment.

The advance traffic warning area, from the first sign to the start of the next should be at least one
block for urban streets.

When a trench is dug for a new line or replacement of an old line, the trench should be dug and
backfilled in such a manner to support the pipe. A rule of thumb as to the width of the trench is that
the trench should be narrow as possible for safety and to increase pipe sidewall support.

When purchasing a specific type of shoring for the collection system, the operator should consider
price and quality of the material. The type of shoring purchased for an agency is governed by Soil
conditions in the area.

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Math Conversion Factors

1 PSI = 2.31 Feet of Water LENGTH

1 Foot of Water = .433 PSI 12 Inches = 1 Foot
1.13 Feet of Water = 1 Inch of Mercury 3 Feet = 1 Yard
454 Grams = 1Pound 5280 = 1 mile
1 Gallon of Water = 8.34 AREA
1 mg/L = 1 PPM 144 Square Inches = 1 Square Foot
17.1 mg/L = 1 Grain/Gallon 43,560 Square Feet – 1 Acre
1% = 10,000 mg/L VOLUME
694 Gallons per Minute = MGD 1000 Milliliters = 1 Liter
1.55 Cubic Feet per Second = 1 MGD 3.785 Liters = 1Gallon
60 Seconds = 1 Minute 231 Cubic Inches = 1 Gallon
1440 Minutes = 1 Day 7.48 Gallons = 1 Cubic Foot
.746 kW = 1 Horsepower 64.7 Pounds = 1 Cubic Foot


SQUARE: Area (sq.ft) = Length X Width

Volume (cu.ft) = Length (ft) X Width (ft) X Height (ft)

CIRCLE: Area (sq.ft) = 3.14 X Radius (ft) X Radius (ft)

CYLINDER: Volume (Cu. ft) = 3.14 X Radius (ft) X Radius (ft) X Depth (ft)

SPHERE: (3.14) (Diameter)3 Circumference = 3.14 X Diameter


LOTO on controls for a Lift Station

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General Conversions
POUNDS = Concentration (mg/L) X Flow (MG) X 8.34


TEMPERATURE: F = (0C X 9/5) + 32
C = (0F - 32) X 5/9

CONCENTRATION: Conc. (A) X Volume (A) = Conc. (B) X Volume (B)

FLOW RATE (Q): Q = A X V (Quantity = Area X Velocity)

FLOW RATE (gpm): Flow Rate (gpm) = 2.83 (Diameter, in)2 (Distance, in)
Height, in
% SLOPE = Rise (feet) X 100
Run (feet)


Length (mi.) X Diameter (in)

VELOCITY = Distance (ft)

Time (Sec)

N = Manning’s Coefficient of Roughness

R = Hydraulic Radius (ft.)
S = Slope of Sewer (ft/ft.)

HYDRAULIC RADIUS (ft) = Cross Sectional Area of Flow (ft)

Wetted pipe Perimeter (ft)

WATER HORSEPOWER = Flow (gpm) X Head (ft)


BRAKE HORSEPOWER = Flow (gpm) X Head (ft)

3960 X Pump Efficiency

MOTOR HORSEPOWER = Flow (gpm) X Head (ft)

3960 X Pump Eff. X Motor Eff.

MEAN OR AVERAGE = Sum of the Values

Number of Values

TOTAL HEAD (ft) = Suction Lift (ft) X Discharge Head (ft)


(gal/min/sq.ft) Surface Area (sq. ft)
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MIXTURE = (Volume 1, gal) (Strength 1, %) + (Volume 2, gal) (Strength 2,%)
STRENGTH (%) (Volume 1, gal) + (Volume 2, gal)

INJURY FREQUENCY RATE = (Number of Injuries) 1,000,000

Number of hours worked per year

DETENTION TIME (hrs) = Volume of Basin (gals) X 24 hrs

Flow (GPD)

SLOPE = Rise (ft) SLOPE (%) = Rise (ft) X 100

Run (ft) Run (ft)


1 PE = .17 Pounds of BOD per Day
1 PE = .20 Pounds of Solids per Day
1 PE = 100 Gallons per Day

LEAKAGE (GPD/inch) = Leakage of Water per Day (GPD)

Sewer Diameter (inch)

CHLORINE DEMAND (mg/L) = Chlorine Dose (mg/L) – Chlorine Residual (mg/L)

τQ = Allowable time for decrease in pressure from 3.5 PSU to 2.5 PSI
τq = As below

τQ = (0.022) (d12L1)/Q τq = [ 0.085] [(d12L1)/(d1L1)]


Q = 2.0 cfm air loss

θ = .0030 cfm air loss per square foot of internal pipe surface
δ = Pipe diameter (inches)
L = Pipe Length (feet)

V = 1.486 R 2/3 S 1/2

V = Velocity (ft./sec.)
ν = Pipe Roughness
R = Hydraulic Radius (ft)
S= Slope (ft/ft)

HYDRAULIC RADIUS (ft) = Flow Area (ft. 2)

Wetted Perimeter (ft.)

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29 CFR 1926, Subpart P. Excavations.
Construction Safety Association of Ontario. Trenching Safety. 74 Victoria St., Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M5C2A5.
International Labour Office (ILO). Building Work: A Compendium of Occupational Safety and
Health Practice. International Occupational Safety and Health Information Centre (CIS): ILO,
Geneva, Switzerland.
National Safety Council. Accident Prevention Manual for Industrial Operations, Engineering and
Technology, 9th ed., Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.
National Safety Council. Protecting Worker's Lives: A Safety and Health Guide for Unions.
Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.
National Safety Council. Industrial Data Sheets: I-482, General Excavation, and I-254, Trench
Excavation, Chicago, IL: National Safety Council.
National Utility Contractors Association, Competent Person Manual-1991.
NBS/NIOSH, Development of Draft Construction Safety Standards for Excavations. Volume I,
April 1983. NIOSH 83-103, Pub. No. 84-100-569. Volume II, April 1983. NIOSH 83-2693, Pub.
No. 83-233-353.
Scardino, A.J., Jr. 1993. Hazard Identification and Control--Trench Excavation. Lagrange, TX:
Carlton Press.

Rodder Truck

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Wastewater Treatment Glossary
Acidic Solution: Definition of an acidic solution is a solution that contains a significant number of H+ ions.
Activated Sludge: During cold weather operation of an activated sludge plant, biological activity is
reduced. This results in a decreasing rate of solids accumulation. Extended aeration activated sludge is
necessary for proper luxury uptake of phosphorous. At least 3 or more days before observing a change
made for process control in an activated sludge package plant. During cold weather operation of an
activated sludge plant, biological activity will be reduced. This results in decreasing rate of solids
accumulation. 2.0 mg/l to 4.0 mg/l is the dissolved oxygen concentration needed during start-up of an
activated sludge plant. 2 to 3 MCRTs before a change in an activated sludge process is observed. In a
rectangular conventional activated sludge tank, the DO concentration is lowest at the beginning of the tank
where the air diffusers are all evenly opened. Thiothrix is a type of filament that can grow in the aeration
basin of an activated sludge plant. Low DO levels is a possible cause to the growth of this long filament.
The dissolved oxygen concentration needed during start-up of an activated sludge plant is 2.0 mg/l to 4.0
Aeration Basin: Operation change that should be employed if a dark brown foam is developing on the
aeration basin is to increase the wasting rate.
Aeration Plant: An extended aeration plant designed to operate when the microorganism population is in
the endogenous respiration phase. This is the time of the most complete oxidation of organic material.
Aerobic Digester: In an aerobic digester the DO drops to less than 1.0 mg/l but the blowers are operating
at full capacity. Reduce the loading to the digester should be done under these conditions. In an anaerobic
digester the volatile acid/alkalinity ratio is experiencing a decrease in pH. Soda ash can be added to correct
this condition. Decrease the air intake to reduce turbulence should be done to correct excessive foam in an
aerobic digester when the DO is high, pH is 7, and the O2 uptake and temperature are stable. Sufficient air
must be used to place all solids in the aeration tank in suspension. Some of the by-products of aerobic
digestion are Nitrate, Sulfate and Carbon Dioxide. Not Volatile acids. pH will decrease if the level of carbon
dioxide increases in an anaerobic digester. Empting the condensate from the drip traps daily is necessary
for maintaining proper operation of a drip trap placed on the gas line of a heated anaerobic digester.
Volatile acid concentration will be observed first following an upset of the anaerobic digestion process.
Aerobic Sludge: The pH should be 11.5 to 12.0 when lime is mixed with aerobic sludge for
Algae Problem: Sunlight is required in the process of producing oxygen from carbon dioxide from algae.
Alternative Disinfectants: The following chemicals may be used as alternative disinfectants; Ozone,
chlorine dioxide or chloramines, O3, C1O2, or NH4C12.
Ammonium Ion: NH4+.
Anaerobic Digester Annular Space: The purpose of the annular space on a floating cover anaerobic
digester to provide a water seal to prevent air from entering the digester.
Anaerobic Digester Seal: If a water seal on an anaerobic digester breaks and air enters, an explosion
could occur.
Anaerobic Sludge vs. Aerobic Sludge: The difference between anaerobic sludge and aerobic sludge;
Aerobic sludge has a higher water content.
AZPDES: Arizona Pollution Discharge Elimination System.
Belt Filter Press: The ability of a belt filter press to dewater sludge and remove suspended solids is
dependent upon sludge type and conditioning, the relationship between hydraulic loading and the belt
speed. The purpose of a belt filter press containing a Venturi-type restriction is to provide turbulence during
the mixing of polymer with the flow of sludge.
Binding: The clogging of the filtering medium of a microscreen or a vacuum filter when the holes or spaces
in the media become sealed off.
Biological Community: It take about 60 days to establish a thriving biological community.
Biological Contactor: A biological contactor uses stages to maximize the effectiveness of a given amount
of media surface. As BOD decreases, nitrification begins is the benefit of this design.
Biological Treatment: Removes colloidal solids from wastewater.
Black Foam: An anaerobic digester has a black foam covering about one half of the surface. All of the
following are possible causes to the foam problem: The temperature is changing in the digester too fast.
High organic loading to the digester. A thick sludge blanket was broken up. This is not the problem the
settled sludge in the secondary digester is removed too fast.
Blacktop or Paved Drying Bed: Pavement allows mechanical equipment to mix the sludge that is why a
blacktop or paved drying bed can handle 2 to 3 time more sludge than a normal sand drying bed.

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BOD Test: Dilution water is seeded (saturated) with oxygen when conducting a BOD test on an un-
chlorinated wastewater sample to compare to an unseeded or blank reservoir of dilution water
Breakpoint Chlorination: Adding chlorine to the water until the chlorine demand is satisfied.
Ca(OCl)2.4H2O: Is the molecular formula of calcium hypochlorite.
Carbon Dioxide: The production of this compound during evening hours causes a pH decrease in a
stabilization pond.
Caustic Soda: May be added to raise the pH of a solution.
Centrifugal Force: That force when a ball is whirled on a string pulls the ball outward. On a centrifugal
pump, it is that force which throws water from a spinning impeller.
Centrifugal Pump: A pump consisting of an impeller fixed on a rotating shaft and enclosed in a casing,
having an inlet and a discharge connection. The rotating impeller creates pressure in the liquid by the
velocity derived from centrifugal force. Prime the pump with water before starting a new centrifugal pump
for the first time. A key and a tight fit is the common method used to secure an impeller to the shaft on
double-suction pump. A mechanical seal is the best seal to use for a pump operating under high suction
head conditions. A possible cause of a scored shaft sleeve is that the packing has broken down or the
packing is too tight or over tightened. A reciprocating pump or piston pump should not be operated with the
discharge valve in the closed position. An air compressor generates heat during the compression cycle.
What is the most common type of damage caused by heat generated during operation? The lubricating oil
tends to break down quickly requiring frequent replacement. Cavitation is caused by a suction line may be
clogged or is above the water line. Centrifugal pumps do not generate suction unless the impeller is
submerged in water. If a pump is located above the level of water a foot valve must be provided on the
suction piping to hold the prime. Continuous leakage from a mechanical seal on a pump indicates that the
mechanical seal needs to be replaced. One disadvantage of a centrifugal pump is that it is not self-priming.
The main purpose of the wear rings in a centrifugal double suction pump is that the wear rings maintain a
flow restriction between the impeller discharge and suction areas. The purpose of the foot valve on a pump
is that it keeps the air relief opened. The viscosity decreases with most lubricants as the temperature
increases. Two pumps of the same size can be operated alternately to equalize wear and distribute
lubricant in bearings.

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Chemistry: Amperometric titration is used to measure Chlorine residual. A glass burette is read by looking
at the bottom of the curved level of the liquid in the burette. A spectrophotometer operates based on the
light transmitted or absorbed by the sample at a selected wavelength. A standard solution is a prepared
chemical solution in which the exact chemical concentration is known. At 4O C is water the most dense.
Hydrogen chloride is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. The aqueous solution of this compound called is
Hydrochloric acid. Hypochlorous acid dissociates according to the following reactions? HOCl <-- --> H+ +
OCl-. Sulfate is a compound that will readily dissolve in water forming an anion. Shake or mix the sample is
a pretreatment step needed for the suspended solids test. VOC water tests it is permissible to use a
composite sample. Dry gaseous sulfur dioxide forms H2SO4 in the presence of moisture. When water is
added to acid, mixture will tend to splatter.
Chlorinating In addition to disinfecting a plant’s effluent, chlorinating a wastestream may also lower the
Chlorine: A yellowish green, nonflammable and liquefied gas with an unpleasant and irritating smell. Can
be readily compressed into a clear, amber colored liquid, a noncombustible gas, and a strong oxidizer.
Chlorine is about 1.5 times heavier than water and gaseous chlorine is about 2.5 times heavier than air.
Atomic number is 17. Monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine are known as combined available
chlorine. Acetylene and ether, turpentine and ammonia and hydrogen and finely divided metals are
pairs of substances that chlorine will react explosively or form explosive compounds. The chlorine
pressure reducing valve should be located when using an evaporator downstream of the evaporator. One
precaution should be taken when applying chlorine in the sewer line near a wastewater treatment plant to
control hydrogen sulfide production and anaerobic bacteria is that excessive chlorine can kill the aerobic
organisms in the secondary treatment plant. Chlorine is added to the effluent before the contact chamber
for complete mixing. The reason for not adding it directly to the chamber is that he chamber has very little
mixing due to low velocities. High dose of chlorine helps the reaction of chlorine with the bacteria in the
water being disinfected. Hypochlorous acid is the most germicidal of all chlorine compounds with the
possible exception of chlorine dioxide. The two main chemical species formed by chlorine in water and
what name are they known by collectively by HOCl and OCl-; free available chlorine. When chlorine gas is
added to water, it rapidly hydrolyzes. The chemical equations that best describes this reaction is Cl2 + H2O
--> H+ + Cl- + HOCl. When hypochlorite is brought into contact with an organic material, the organic
material decomposes releasing heat very rapidly. Yoke-type connectors connections should be used on a
chlorine cylinder's valve assuming the threads on the valve may be worn.
Chlorine Exposure Symptoms: Burning of eyes, nose, and mouth; lacrimation and rhinorrhea.
Coughing, sneezing, choking, nausea and vomiting; headaches and dizziness. Fatal pulmonary edema;
pneumonia; conjunctivitis, keratitis, pharyngitis, burning chest pain, dyspnea, hemoptysis, hypoxemia,
dermatitis, and skin blisters.
Chlorine Gas: Causes suffocation, constriction of the chest, tightness in the throat, and edema of the
lungs. As little as 2.5 mg per liter(approximately 0.085 percent by volume) in the atmosphere causes death
in minutes, but less than 0.0001 percent by volume may be tolerated for several hours. Chlorine gas is
highly corrosive in moist conditions. Gold, Platinum, and Tantalum are the only metals totally inert to moist
Chlorine gas. Death is possible from asphyxia, shock, reflex spasm in the larynx, or massive pulmonary
edema. Populations at special risk from chlorine exposure are individuals with pulmonary disease,
breathing problems, bronchitis, or chronic lung conditions. Even brief exposure to 1,000 ppm of CL2 can
be fatal. Chronic exposure may cause corrosion of the teeth may occur due to chronic exposure to low
concentrations of chlorine gas. Reacts with water producing a strong oxidizing solution causing damage to
the moist tissue lining the respiratory tract is rapidly irritated by exposure to 10-20 ppm of chlorine gas in
air, causing acute discomfort that warns of the presence of the toxicant. Where other factors are constant,
the disinfection action may be represented by: Kill = C X T.
Chlorine Gas Cylinder: Should be initially opened1/4 turn to unseat the valve, then open one complete
Chlorine Gas Leak: Is the primary safety concern when using chlorine gas as opposed to calcium
hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite.
Chlorine Residual Test: A chlorine residual test during various time periods on a plant’s effluent samples
indicates the amount of free and/or available chlorine available after a given contact time.

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Chlorine Safety: Several safety precautions when using chlorine gas: In addition to protective clothing and
goggles, chlorine gas should be used only in a well ventilated area so that any leaking gas cannot
concentrate. Several symptoms of chlorine exposure. Burning of eyes, nose, and mouth, Coughing,
sneezing, choking, nausea and vomiting; headaches and dizziness; Fatal pulmonary edema, pneumonia,
and skin blisters. The approved method s for storing a chlorine cylinder; Secure each cylinder in an upright
position. Attach the protective bonnet over the valve and Firmly secure each cylinder. The connection from
a chlorine cylinder to a chlorinator be replaced by using a new, approved gasket on the connector. The
necessary emergency procedures in the case of a large uncontrolled chlorine leak; Notify local emergency
response team, Warn and evacuate people in adjacent areas, Be sure that no one enters the leak area
without adequate self-contained breathing equipment.
Chlorine Solution Line: A chlorine solution line should be corrosion resistant. PVC pipe material is
recommended for this purpose. PVC Schedule 80 should be used for a chlorine solution line.
Cl2 + H2O --> H+ + Cl- + HOCl: When chlorine gas is added to water, it rapidly hydrolyzes. This is the
chemical equations that best describes this reaction.
Clarifier Effluent Quality: Seal sanitary sewers and/or use of an equalization basin should be taken to
improve clarifier effluent quality when excessive storm flow infiltration is a frequent problem.
Clarifier: Sludge withdrawal from a clarifier should be conducted slowly to prevent the pumping of too
much water. The purpose of an effluent weir is to evenly distribute the influent across a surface of the
clarifier. When a primary clarifier is operating properly, The BOD and TSS will decrease through the
ClO2: Is the molecular formula of Chlorine dioxide.
Coliform Bacteria: A grab sample should be collected to analyze for coliform bacteria.
Combined Available Chlorine: Also know as monochloramine, dichloramine, and trichloramine.
Composite Sample: Is a combination of a group of samples collected at various intervals during the day.
A composite sample of the clarifier influent and effluent is a type of process control sample that should be
collected to determine the efficiency of treatment.
Confined Space: The definition of a hazardous atmosphere is an atmosphere that is explosive,
flammable, poisonous, corrosive, oxidizing, irritating, oxygen-deficient, toxic, or otherwise harmful that may
cause death, illness, or injury. The detailed plan for emergency response to an injury or other emergency
within the confined space should be described in detail in the water system’s Confined Space Entry
Program. Confined Space Entry permit is required when operations may cause a source of ignition to a
material or substance or create a work induced hazard by ignition within any confined space. Confined
space entry Permitted Entry, Hot Work permit type is required. Type 2 confined space or permit required
confined space has the characteristic of containing or has the potential to contain a hazardous atmosphere.
Atmospheric monitoring in a confined space should be performed continuously from pre-entry to exit.
Below 19.5 or .0195 maximum percentage an atmosphere considered oxygen deficient. Entry into a
confined space requires a confined space entry permit.
Contact Chamber: The chamber provides for very little mixing due to low flow velocities is the reason for
having a well mixed solution of chlorine and wastewater effluent in the contact chamber.
Dark Brown Foam: Increase the wasting rate should be employed if a dark brown foam is developing on
the aeration basin.
Deep Filter Media: A deep filter media provides a slower buildup of head loss on the filter.
Denitrification; Is an indication of good treatment, providing that the sludge in the settleability test stays on
the bottom. When sludge is floating up too early in a test this indicates that the sludge age should be
reduced. Denitrification is taking place if sludge rises during the settleability test.
Digested Sludge Problem: Substance inhibiting the organisms may cause the oxygen uptake
measurement in aerobically digested sludge to decrease.
Digester An aeration system in an aerobic digester is shut off to decant the supernatant. The sludge
begins to rise to the surface within 60 minutes. The supernatant is now full of the floating sludge. One
solution to this problem is to install a below water surface draw off pipe for decanting. If the level of carbon
dioxide increases in an anaerobic digester the pH will decrease. In an aerobic digester the DO drops to
less than 1.0 mg/l but the blowers are operating at full capacity. Reduce the loading to the digester should
be done under these conditions. In an anaerobic digester the volatile acid/alkalinity ratio is experiencing a
decrease in plant, you have high F/M.
Digester Methane Production: 8 - 12 ft3 methane can be expected to be produced for every pound of
volatile material applied to a digester.

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Dilution Water: Is seeded with BOD to supply bacteria to decompose all organic matter.
Diseases: Giardiasis, hepatitis, or typhoid are common diseases that may be transmitted through the
contamination of a water supply but AIDS is not.
Disinfection: Good contact time and low turbidity are important in providing good disinfection using
chlorine. Temperature in which chlorine disinfection will be the most effective is 25 degrees C. The primary
objective of disinfection is to kill pathogenic microorganisms.
Dissolved Air Flotation Unit: Air to solids ratio is important in process control and may affect a dissolved
air flotation unit.
DO Concentration: An operator should try to maintain a DO concentration of 1.0 mg/l to 2.0 mg/l
dissolved oxygen in a sludge. Infrequent sludge pumping is the most probable cause if DO drops
excessively across a primary clarifier.
DO Measurements: Take DO measurements with a probe at least 3 to 5 different locations is how you
should take a measurement of the DO in an aerobic digester.
DPD Procedure: Is commonly used to measure chlorine residual.
Electric Problem The overload on a heater element on a motor starter usually rated at to drop the circuit
at 0.1 or ten percent. The voltage of the circuit to be tested is unknown, the meter be set on the highest
range for voltage and work down. The expected voltage when testing the incoming voltage that is 220
VAC, single phase power is 110 volts. When testing a control circuit with a megger, first turn off circuit
breaker. Prior to resetting a tripped circuit breaker, first inspect the electrical equipment for problems.
Electrical Safety: Allow only qualified personnel to service electrical equipment is a general rule of thumb
protects an operator from and electrical injury.
Elutriation: The purpose Elutriation is to reduce sludge alkalinity. Elutriation is a process of sludge
conditioning whereby the sludge is washed, either with fresh water or plant effluent. The purpose of
elutriation is to reduce sludge alkalinity.
Elutriation of Sludge: To reduce the chemical conditioning requirements.
Endogenous Respiration An extended aeration plant was designed to operate when the microorganism
population is in the endogenous respiration phase. This is the time of the most complete oxidation of
organic material. Endogenous respiration of microorganisms in an extended aeration plant will complete
oxidation of organic material.
Exfiltration: Is the term that describes storm water and ground water flowing out of a sewer line.
Extended Aeration Plants: They do not produce as much waste sludge as other process. This sludge
type typically takes approximately 20 days to be fully stabilized.
Facultative: Is the classification of a body of water where the upper portion has dissolved oxygen while the
lower portion does not.
Fecal Coliform Count: A higher effluent fecal coliform count may occur if a chlorine solution pump fails.
Filamentous Bacteria: Organisms that grow in thread form commonly cause sludge bulking in an
activated sludge process. These bugs are called Filamentous bacteria.
Filter Backwash: A rate control valve which opens slowly is used to control the pressure during filter
Filter Fly Control: Chlorine residual of 1 mg/L is recommended for filter fly control.
Filters: Rapid head loss buildup is a disadvantage to surface straining versus depth filtration.
Floating Sludge: In a primary clarifier usually means that the settled sludge has gone septic.
Flow measurement Devices: Are most commonly at the plant headworks.
Flow Measurement Receiver: Records the friction loss through a conduit or pipeline is not a common
function of a flow measurement receiver.
Fusible Plug: The part of a chlorine cylinder designed to melt at 158 to 165*F to prevent the cylinder from
exploding in the event of fire.
Gas LEL: An explosive gas that is in a concentration below its Lower Explosive Limit it will not explode.
Geometric Mean: When reporting the monthly averages for fecal coliform limits in effluent, an operator
must calculate the averages by the Geometric Mean.
Gold, Platinum, and Tantalum: Chlorine gas is highly corrosive in moist conditions. These are the only
metals that are totally inert to moist chlorine gas.
Gravity Sand Filter: In order to calculate head loss through a gravity sand filter, an operator needs to have
two pressure readings at above and below the media.

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Grit Chamber: Grit removed is from wastewater early in the treatment process to protect pumps and other
equipment. Carryover grit from the grit chamber indicates that it is time to clean the grit chamber more
H2SO4: Is the molecular formula of sulfuric acid. Dry gaseous sulfur dioxide forms in the presence of
Hazardous Materials: The National Fire Protection Association uses color-coded hazard warning labels
for hazardous materials. The color for a reactive material is Yellow.
Head works: Close inlet, close outlet, turn off screen, drain, hose down is the best procedure for removing
a mechanical bar screen from service.
Heated Anaerobic Digester: Emptying the condensate from the drip traps daily is necessary for
maintaining proper operation of a drip trap placed on the gas line of a heated anaerobic digester.
Heavy Organic Loading: Excessive sloughing of biological growth on a trickling filter indicates heavy
organic loading.
High F/M: An activated sludge plant is experiencing sludge bulking. The effluent from the clarifier is full of
mixed liquor. High F/M can cause bulking sludge due to filamentous growth in the plant.
Hyacinth: Is a biological process which appears to be effective in removing algae from effluent and is fairly
easy to operate and maintain if the proper environmental conditions can be developed.
Hydraulic Shores: Are not used on jobs exceeding five (5) days in length. There is a possibility of the
hydraulic pressure bleeding off during this length of time.
Hydrogen Chloride: Is a colorless gas with a pungent odor. The aqueous solution of this compound
called Hydrochloric acid.
Hypochlorous Acid: This is the active agent that is used in the destruction of microorganisms.
IDLH: For chlorine gas according to the NIOSH manual is 10 ppm.
Jar Test: Is a lab test is used to simulate a tertiary plant operation.
Laboratory Tests: BOD and Suspended Solids laboratory tests are typically conducted to monitor and
control a primary clarifier.
Lagoon System: Discharge is restricted to specific periods best describes the batch operation of a lagoon
Lantern Ring When installing new packing, the purpose of the lantern ring to allow cooling liquid to enter
along the shaft.
Long Filaments: Are undesirable in large numbers because they prevent good settling of the sludge.
Long Term Storage Lagoon: 6 to 12 % solids of sludge is dredged from a long term storage lagoon.
LOTO: When shutting down a pump for a long period, the motor disconnect switch should be Opened,
Locked Out, and Tagged.
Luxury Uptake: Extended aeration activated sludge is critical for a phosphorus removal system using the
luxury phosphorous. Anaerobic or facultative tank must cause the release of phosphorus is critical for a
phosphorus removal system using the luxury uptake process.
Mechanical Seal One of the limitations of a mechanical seal is that the pump must be dismantled to repair
it. Are used in place of packing because mechanical seals eliminates continual adjusting and do not leak.
Methane UEL 15% is the upper explosive limit for Methane.
Microscopic Examination: Effluent end of the aeration system is the best location for microscopic
examination of activated sludge.
Minor Ponding Problem: If a tricking filter process is experiencing a minor ponding problem on parts of
the surface of the media. Increase the recirculation rate over the surface to ensure that the quality of the
effluent is not drastically changed.
Mixed Liquor: Contents of a balanced, good settling mixed liquor; Free-swimming and stalked ciliates and
some flagellates and rotifers.
MLSS Determination: What is the significance of the MLSS determination? It is an indication of bacterial
population available for utilizing organic waste.
MLSS: The significance of the MLSS determination is it is an indication of bacterial population available for
utilizing organic waste.
Monitor Plant Performance: Lab Analysis, Equipment maintenance and Process Control is data that an
operator uses to monitor plant performance.
Mosquito Breeding: Can be promoted by weed and scum accumulation along the levee of a stabilization
Motor 3600 rpms: Is the maximum synchronous speed of an electric motor that has a frequency of 60

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Motor Overload Control: The overload control on a motor has tripped and the motor has stopped
running. An operator waits for the overload to cool, then tries to start the motor again. If the motor does
not start, the operator should check first the Motor overload control.
Motor: If a motor is rated for 10 amps the overload relays that should be used are 10 to 11 amps. A
possible cause for a mechanical noise coming from a motor is there is an unbalance of a rotating
mechanical part. And a possible result of over greasing a bearing is that there will be extreme friction in
the bearing chamber.
Motor Problem: Copper is not part of a motor brush composition.
Multi-Stage Pump Is the name of a centrifugal pump with two impellers.
NaOCl: Is the molecular formula of Sodium hypochlorite.
NaOH: Is the molecular formula of Sodium hydroxide.
Natural Bacteria Sloughing: As the biological film or slime grows on a standard rate tricking filter, the
excess slime must be wasted from the media. This is how the process of wasting excess slime is
New Stabilization Pond: Fill the pond with at least one foot of clean water is necessary before a new
stabilization pond is put into service.
NH4+: Is the molecular formula of the ammonium ion.
Nitrification: One common problem with a nitrification treatment process is a decrease in the alkalinity.
Soda ash is used to control the alkalinity concentration.
Nitrification Treatment Process: One common problem with a nitrification treatment process is a
decrease in the alkalinity. Soda ash is used to control the alkalinity concentration. When there is plenty of
DO available nitrification most likely to occur in an aeration tank.
Nitrogenous Waste: Is removed from the wastewater at a wastewater treatment plant because it exerts
an oxygen demand on the receiving waters.
Nocardia: Causes frothing.
Olfactory Fatigue: Hydrogen Sulfide and Chlorine gas are extremely hazardous even at extremely low
concentrations. Instrumentation should be used to detect the presence of these gases because of
olfactory fatigue.
Osmosis: Is the spontaneous process by which solvent molecules pass through a semipermeable
membrane from a solution of lower concentration into a solution of higher concentration.
Parshall Flume: Measures flow by measuring a rise in head produced by the Parshall Flume.
Pathogens: Are disease-causing bacteria.
pH: pH (Power of Hydroxyl Ion Activity). A measure of the acidity of water. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14
with 7 being the mid point or neutral. A pH of less than 7 is on the acid side of the scale with 0 as the point
of greatest acid activity. A pH of more than 7 is on the basic (alkaline) side of the scale with 14 as the point
of greatest basic activity. Alkalinity and pH tell an operator with regards to coagulation how to determine
the best chemical coagulant to be used. The definition of an acidic solution is a solution that contains a
significant number of H+ ions. An operator should calibrate the instrument with a known buffer solution
before using a pH meter. Rinse the electrodes with distilled water should be done with the electrodes after
measuring the pH of a sample with a pH meter. pH Temperature and Chlorine dosage are the factors that
influence the effectiveness of chlorination the most.
Phenols: This chemical does not cause turbidity in wastewater.
Phosphate: Does not react with chlorine before disinfection takes place.
Photosynthesis Process: Produces oxygen as a by-product.
Pneumatic Ejector Problem: If an operator has a pneumatic ejector pumping station that is operating
properly but there is no flow being pumped, the inlet check sticking open could be the problem.
Polishing Ponds: Water will flow from one pond to the other when two polishing ponds are operating in a
Polyelectrolyte: Is a high molecular weight substance used as a sludge conditioner that is formed by
either a natural or synthetic processes.
Pre-aeration: Will freshen wastewater and separates oil and grease from the waste stream.
Pre-Chlorination: Is the name of the process whereby chlorine is added to wastewater at the headworks.

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Pretreatment: Is vitally important to the operation of a sludge digester because without pretreatment, the
digester could become filled with grit.
Primary Clarifier: During low flow periods, operational change may be necessary to maintain the proper
detention time in a primary clarifier and keep the primary effluent fresh. One method is to take one or more
of the clarifiers off line. The most probable cause if DO drops excessively across a primary clarifier is
infrequent sludge pumping. When a primary clarifier is operating properly, the BOD and TSS will decrease
through the clarifier.
Primary Clarifier Efficiency The efficiency of the primary clarifier affects the efficiency of any other
treatment processes that follows.
Primary Sedimentation Process: Settleable solids and floatable material is removed in the primary
sedimentation process.
Primary Settling Tank: The wearing shoes on a primary settling tank prevents wear on the scraper cross
pieces and metal track.
Primary Sludge: If primary sludge is added to an aerobic digester, more food will be available to the
microorganisms and more oxygen will be required.
Progressive Cavity Pump: Is typically used for pumping liquid that contains a high concentration of
solids. A progressive cavity pump should never be operated under dry or with a closed discharge valve. In
a progressive cavity pump, the rotor is the only part that spins. The size of the cavity in which the rotor
turns determines the capacity of a progressive pump.
Proper Detention Time: During low flow periods, taking one or more of the clarifiers off line may be
necessary to maintain the proper detention time in a primary clarifier and keep the primary effluent fresh.
Pump 5,000 to 20,000 hours: Is the typical operating life of a mechanical seal.
Pump Discharge Valve Off: Is when a reciprocating pump or piston pump not be operated.
Pump: A key and a tight fit is the common method used to secure an impeller to the shaft on double-
suction pump. A mechanical seal is the best seal to use for a pump operating under high suction head
conditions. A possible cause of a scored shaft sleeve is that the packing has broken down or the packing is
too tight or over tightened. A reciprocating pump or piston pump should not be operated with the discharge
valve in the closed position. An air compressor generates heat during the compression cycle. What is the
most common type of damage caused by heat generated during operation? The lubricating oil tends to
break down quickly requiring frequent replacement. Cavitation is caused by a suction line may be clogged
or is above the water line. Centrifugal pumps do not generate suction unless the impeller is submerged in
water. If a pump is located above the level of water a foot valve must be provided on the suction piping to
hold the prime. Continuous leakage from a mechanical seal on a pump indicates that the mechanical seal
needs to be replaced. One disadvantage of a centrifugal pump is that it is not self-priming. The main
purpose of the wear rings in a centrifugal double suction pump is that the wear rings maintain a flow
restriction between the impeller discharge and suction areas. The purpose of the foot valve on a pump is
that it keeps the air relief opened. The viscosity decreases with most lubricants as the temperature
increases. Two pumps of the same size can be operated alternately to equalize wear and distribute
lubricant in bearings. Dial Indicator is used to check a coupling alignment.
Pump Priming: Venting the excess air is an essential aspect of priming a pump.
Raw sludge: Should be fed to an anaerobic digester when the solids content of sludge is < 3.5 %.
Reciprocating Pump: Intake closed; discharge open are the proper operation positions of check valves on
a reciprocating pump during the discharge stroke.
Relative Compaction: Refers to the level of compaction obtained compared to the level possible under
ideal conditions.
Safety: 2 Feet: The distance from the edge of a hole must you place the spoil from an excavation.
Safety: A supervisor should warn an operator about the presence of a confined space by clearly posting
the appropriate signage at all entries to a confined space. Before beginning an excavation, An
“Underground Service Alert” center should be contacted to assist in determining the location of all
underground utilities in the work area. Corrosive-This type of chemical classification may weaken, burn, or
destroy a person’s skin or eyes and can be either acidic or basic. Ladders and climbing devices by
inspected by a qualified individual once a year. The correct order for placing shorting equipment in a
trench is starting at the top move to the bottom of the trench and reverse to remove it. Stand away from
rotating shafts before startup to avoid injury on equipment with rotating parts.
Sand Filter: To indicate the possible breakthrough of solids in the filter is the purpose of having a
continuous readout of turbidity in the effluent of a tertiary sand filter.
Saprophytic Bacteria: Produces the most acid in an anaerobic digester.
Scum Pipe: Allows the collected scum to flow from the skimmer box to the scum tank or a pump.

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Secondary Treatment: The reason a wastewater treatment plant provides secondary treatment is to
remove organic matter from wastewater.
Septic Sludge: A septic sludge in a primary clarifier may result in foul odors, bubbles of gas at the surface,
and floating clumps of solids. Low DO is the cause of odor associated with septic sludge.
Septic Solids: When wastewater influent is not fresh but has been in the collection system for some time,
septic solids which may produce gas and are difficult to settle may be observed in the primary clarifier.
Sewage: Untreated wastes from toilets, baths, sinks, lavatories, laundries, and other plumbing fixtures in
place of human habitation, employment or recreation.
Single Phase Power: Is the type of power is used for lighting systems, small motors, appliances, portable
power tools and in homes.
Sludge Age: Denitrification is an indication of good treatment, providing that the sludge in the
settleability test stays on the bottom. The sludge age should be reduced if sludge is floating up too
early during a test.
Sludge Basins: After cleaning sludge basins and before returning the tanks into service the tanks should
be inspected, repaired if necessary, and disinfected.
Sludge: Decreasing sludge wasting may be necessary to accommodate colder operating temperatures in
the winter months. Denitrification is an indication of good treatment, providing that the sludge in the
settleability test stays on the bottom. What does sludge floating up too early in a test indicate? The sludge
age should be reduced. Gases may be produced causing sludge to rise if sludge is septic and it is put in a
gravity sludge thickener. 6 to 12 % percent solids of sludge should be dredged from a long term storage
Sludge Conditioning: The dry chemical should be weighed out and mixed with water is the preliminary
step that is required when using dry chemicals for sludge conditioning.
Sludge Dewatering: The pH should be 11.5 to 12.0.when lime is mixed with sludge to improve
Sludge for Root Crops: Dried sludge from a sand drying bed may not be used on root crops unless the
sludge has been treated by heat drying at 790 degrees C.
Sludge: It might take at least 3 or more days before observing a change made for process control in an
activated sludge package plant. If primary sludge is added to an aerobic digester more food will be
available to the microorganisms and more oxygen will be required. Increase the belt speed will allow for
greater volumes of water to drain from the sludge in a press. Sludge withdrawal from a clarifier should be
conducted slowly to prevent the pumping of too much water. The complete oxidation of a sludge in sludge
incineration depends on the ratio of fuel and air supplied to the incinerator. The dry chemical should be
weighed out and mixed with water are required when using dry chemicals for sludge conditioning. The pH
should be 11.5 to 12.0 when lime is mixed with aerobic sludge for stabilization. The purpose of elutriation of
sludge is to reduce the chemical conditioning of the sludge.
Sludge Incineration: The complete oxidation of a sludge in sludge incineration depends on the ratio of
fuel and air supplied to the incinerator.
Sludge Press: Increasing the belt speed will allow for greater volumes of water to drain from the sludge in
a press.
Sludge Rising: Increase sludge wasting to decrease MCRT may prevent sludge from floating to the
surface of a secondary clarifier. Sludge that is rising to the top of the clarifier is a good indication that
sludge is not being removed from the primary clarifier often enough.
Sludge Settling Problem: Dissolved oxygen levels are too high if during a settling test the sludge settles
in 15 minutes and rises to the surface in 30 minutes.
Sludge Thickener Problem: Gases may be produced causing sludge to rise if sludge is septic and it is put
in a gravity sludge thickener.
Sludge to a Sand Drying Bed: An operator should remove sludge form a digester slowly when drawing
the sludge to a sand drying bed because it prevents coning in the digester.
Sludge Volume: A thickening or dewatering process used prior to sludge transportation and storage
affects the sludge in which way it reduces the sludge volume to be handled.
Sludge Wasting: Decrease sludge wasting may be necessary to accommodate colder operating
temperatures in the winter months.
Sodium Hydroxide: NaOH.
Sodium Hypochlorite: NaOCL.
Specific Gravity: A vapor with a specific gravity greater than 1 is considered heavier than air.

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Spectrophotometer: A spectrophotometer measures a selected wavelength transmitted or absorbed
by a sample.
Spring and Fall Are the typical periods of discharge from a stabilization pond.
Stabilization Pond Controlling shoreline aquatic vegetation by fluctuating the water surface in a
stabilization pond. Fill the pond with at least one foot of clean water is necessary before a new stabilization
pond is put into service. Sodium nitrate added to a stabilization pond improves the operation by increasing
the dissolved oxygen concentration.
Standard Solution: A standard solution is a prepared chemical solution in which the exact chemical
concentration is known.
Suction Bell on a Pump: Guides wastewater into pump’s suction pipe and reduces pipe entrance energy
Sulfate: Will dissolve in water to form an anion.
Sulfur Dioxide defer from Chlorine: In that Sulfur Dioxide cylinders are at lower pressures than Chlorine.
A physical similarity is that they are both highly corrosive when mixed in water.
Sulfur Dioxide: Is most commonly used for dechlorination in a large WWTP. Handle with care similar to
that of chlorine.
Sulfuric Acid: H2SO4.
Sunrise: Is the time that the pH and dissolved oxygen concentration are the lowest in a pond.
Supernatant: An aeration system in an aerobic digester is shut off to decant or remove some clear
supernatant. The sludge begins to rise to the surface within 60 minutes. The supernatant is now full of the
floating sludge which may interfere with the activated sludge process. Install a below water surface draw off
pipe for decanting is a logical solution to this problem. A single adjustable tube is typically used to read
supernatant on a floating cover anaerobic digester.
Surface loading: To a clarifier is expressed as gallons per day per unit of surface area.
Surface straining: Rapid head loss buildup is common to surface straining versus depth filtration.
Suspended solids test What is a pretreatment step needed for the suspended solids test? Shake or mix
the sample.
Telemetering: The use of a transmission line with remote signaling to monitor a pumping
Telemetry: Can be used to accomplish accurate and reliable remote monitoring and control over a
long distribution system.
Temperature: This test should be performed immediately in the field.
Tertiary sand filter: The purpose of having a continuous readout of turbidity in the effluent of a tertiary
sand filter is to indicate the possible breakthrough of solids in the filter.
Tertiary Treatment: The advance treatment of wastewater is sometimes used to remove nutrients.
Thermal Overload: is the reason for most motor malfunctions.
Thermal Valve: Shut down the flow of gas if subjected to a flame is the main purpose of a thermal valve
on an anaerobic digester.
Thin Sludge: Will be going to the digester which causes it to perform poorly could be caused by pumping
too long or too often from a primary clarifier.
Thiothrix: Is type of filament that can grow in the aeration basin of an activated sludge plant. Low DO
levels is a possible cause to the growth of this long filament.
Three-Phase Motor Problem: A three-phase variable speed electric motor is examined during regular
maintenance. What should you do if the brushes are coated with fine particles? That the brushes should
be carefully cleaned to remove these particles because the particles may cause sparking or flashover.
Total Dissolved Solids: When determining the total dissolved solids, a sample is filtered before being
poured into an evaporating dish and dried.
Total Solids: In wastewater composed of dissolved solids and suspended solids.
Trickling Filter Process: The main purpose of recirculation in a trickling filter process to increase the
contact time of the BOD and microorganisms. Controls flow to the filter media best describes the purpose
of the outlet orifice of a trickling filter.
Turbidity Meter: Can be used to analyze and record the clarity of the filter influent and effluent flows.
Underdrain System: The underdrain system on a blacktop or concrete drying bed is closed while the bed
fills with sludge. After the sludge has risen to the top due to gasification the drainage system should be
opened to allow the clear water to be returned to the head. To provide adequate ventilation to the filter
media is another function of an underdrain system in a tricking filter.
Vectors: Birds, rodents, and flies may carry disease from sludge.
Venturi Meter: Can be used for measuring the flow of wastewater through a pipe.
Volatile Acid Concentration: Will be observed first following an upset of the anaerobic digestion process.

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Volatile Liquids: Should be stored segregated by incompatible chemicals, away from heat sources and
clearly label and dated.
Volute: Remove the wastewater from the volute should be taken if a pump is off for an extended period.
Draining the volute is the most important task when isolating a pump from service.
Warm Temperatures: This condition will have the greatest positive effect upon the operation of a
stabilization pond.
Wastewater Treatment Efficiency: A composite sample is the preferred method to calculate the
efficiency of a wastewater treatment process.

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Wastewater Treatment Assignment
You will have 90 days from the start to have this assignment completed. If you need any
assistance, please contact Student Services at (928) 468-0665 or e-mail info@tlch2o.com.

This assignment is also available along with Course Support on TLC’s Website under the
Assignment Page. If you need CEUs or PDHs, return the answers along with the registration form
found in the front of this manual. Please e-mail or fax your assignment to TLC. Fax (928) 468-0675

1. Sulfide can exist in wastewater in three forms depending on the pH: S²- ion, HS- ion, or H2S gas. At the
ideal temperature, what sulfide would form at a pH of 14?
A. S²- ion, 90%
B. HS- ion, 100%
C. H2S gas, 100%
D. H2S, 50% and HS-, 50%

2. The presence or absence of oxygen establishes whether hydrogen sulfide will exist. If more than 1.0
mg/L of oxygen is present what will happen to anaerobic bacteria?
A. It will become soluble BOD
B. It will oxidize to thiosulfate
C. It will produce higher levels of sulfide
D. Hydrogen sulfide will not exist

3. Which of the following represents the reaction of ammonia with chlorine?

A. NH3 + Cl2 = NH2Cl +CHl
B. NH2Cl+Cl2 = NHCl2 + HCl
C. NHCl2 +Cl2 = NCl 3+ HCl
D. Monochloramine, NH2Cl
E. All of the above

4. Hydrogen peroxide has been used as an oxidant to control odors. What are the disadvantages of using
hydrogen peroxide?
A. Inability to treat ammonia
B. It's an oxidant
C. Inhibits the regeneration of sulfate reducing microorganisms
D. Lack of toxic by-products

5. The pH of a production facility's wastewater may vary from 2.5 to 13.0 depending on the product being
processed. It may be necessary to neutralize the wastewater to achieve a neutral pH. What chemical
could be added to make a wastewater with a pH of 2.5 neutral?
A. Caustic
B. Sulfide
D. Sodium bicarbonate

6. COD is an alternative to BOD for measuring the pollutional strength of wastewater. Bearing in mind that
the BOD and COD tests involve separate and distinct reactions, what is the primary disadvantage of the
COD test?
A. Chloride may interfere with the chemical reaction
B. It measures the presence of carbon and hydrogen
C. It takes 5 days to get results
D. None of the above

7. This chemical has been used like chlorine to control odors. This chemical reacts with other substances
very similar to chlorine.
A. Phenol
B. Hydrogen Peroxide
C. Sodium hypochlorite

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8. In gravity thickening of wastewater sludge, gravity forces are used to separate solids from the sludge
being treated. Secondary sludge's are not well suited for gravity thickening because it contains:
A. Bound water
B. High alkalinity
C. Low pH
D. Dissolved oxygen

9. If a primary sludge is allowed to go septic, which of the following gases are produced?
A. H2S and CO2
B. CH4
C. A&B
D. Ozone
E. All of the above

10. Which of the following is not a recommendation for preventing odors in a trickling filter?
A. Maintain aerobic conditions in the sewer system
B. Use of masking agents
C. Increase of BOD loading
D. Check and clear filter ventilation

11. Which of the following solutions helps prevent trickling filters from freezing?
A. Decrease the recirculation
B. Parallel operations
C. Reduce nozzles spray
D. All of the above

12. Excessive sloughing or biological growth on a trickling filter is an indication of:

A. Ice buildup on filter media
B. Increase in secondary clarifier effluent suspended solids
C. Uneven distribution of flow
D. Filter ponding

13. The high-rate trickling filter is fed at 2,100 GPM and the filter diameter is 100 feet. What is the surface
area flow rate in gallons per day?
A. 385 GPD/sq ft
B. 385 GDP
C. 7850 GPD/Sq ft
D. 3 MGD

14. Development of white biomass over most of a Rotating Biological Contactor (RBC) disc area could be
resolved by:
A. Decreasing the treatment influent flow
B. Increasing the chlorination in the first stage
C. Adjusting baffles between first and second stages to increase total surface area in first stage
D. None of the above

15. If the motor bearings on a RBC are running above 200°F, which of the following corrective actions
could be taken?
A. Lubricate bearings per manufacturer's instruction
B. Check torque and alignment of bearings
C. Make sure the shaft is properly aligned.
D. All of the above

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16. When making changes to correct a problem in an activated sludge package plant, how long might it
take before the correction shows?
A. At least 3 or more days
B. 24 hours
C. 3 hours
D. Depends on the basin detention time

17. Changing conditions or abnormal conditions can upset the microorganisms in the activated sludge
process. If the sludge is bulking in the clarifier what could one possible factor be?
A. Low DO concentration
B. High rate of aeration
C. Clarifier flow to high
D. Hydraulic overload is too high

18. Some aeration tubing systems require cleaning on a weekly basis. Which of the following can be used
to remove deposits of carbonate on the tubing slits and biological slime from inside the tubing?
A. Chlorine
B. Sodium hydroxide
C. Anhydrous ammonia
D. Anhydrous hydrogen chloride

19. Which of the following lab sample is taken daily from the effluent of a pond?
A. Chlorine residual
B. Coliform group
C. Dissolved oxygen
D. pH

20. Wastewater facilities may be required to provide chlorination services for which of the following
A. Disinfection of effluent
B. Process control of activated sludge
C. Season odor control
D. All of the above

21. In order to meet NPDES permit coliform requirements what is the required chlorine residual at the
outlet of the chlorine contact basin?
A. 4.5 mg/L
B. 3 mg/L
C. 2.5 mg/L
D. 1 mg/L

22. During the night shift, the operator notes that the chlorine residual analyzer recorder
controller is not maintaining the chlorine residual properly. Which of the following could be a probable
cause of the problem?
A. That flow fluctuations is the probable cause
B. That electrodes are fouled and should be cleaned
C. An increase in DO oxidized the residual
D. Ammonia is interfering and this is a common occurrence

23. A regular program of scheduled preventive maintenance is essential to keep a chlorinator functioning
properly. If the operator notices that the chlorinator will not feed chlorine, the first thing an operator should
check is:
A. The chlorine supply gages
B. The evaporation unit
C. The injector line
D. None of the above

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24. During your inspection of the chlorine feed system; you find that there is no chlorine gas pressure at
the chlorinator. You check and find the chlorine cylinder is full and the valve is open. What is the probable
A. Inadequate injector vacuum
B. Plugged or damaged pressure-reducing valve
C. Chlorinator discharge valve is closed
D. Injector diaphragm ruptured

25. The operator determines that the Coliform count fails to meet required standards for
Disinfection. The operator checks the contact time and finds that short-circuiting has occurred in the
contact chamber. What measures should be taken to correct this problem?
A. Adjust the injector flow
B. Install baffling in the contact chamber
C. Reduce the chlorine feed rate
D. This is normal, it will correct with an increase in flow

26. Procedures and equipment for operating and maintaining chlorination and sulfonation systems are
very similar but you should be aware of the differences. Which of the following is a true statement
regarding sulfur dioxide and chlorine?
A. Sulfur dioxide gas pressures are lower than chlorine gas pressure at the same temperature
B. Chlorinator control valve diaphragms can be used for sulfur dioxide
C. Sulfur dioxide has no health effects and is not dangerous
D. Sulfur dioxide vaporizes at the same rate as chlorine at the same temperature

27. Maintenance of the sulfur dioxide system should be part of a preventive maintenance
program. It is recommended that the sulfonators be cleaned:
A. Every year or more frequently if necessary
B. Never, they have self cleaning units
C. Every six months
D. Monthly

28. A chlorinator is set to feed 50 pounds of chlorine per 24 hours; the wastewater flow
is at a rate of 0.85 MGD; and the chlorine as measured by the chlorine residual test is 0.5 mg/L. What is
the chlorine dose?
A. 3.5 mg/L
B. 2956 lbs
C. 7.1 mg/L
D. None of the above

29. A plant with a 2-MGD flow has an effluent chlorine residual of 4.5 mg/L. Sulfur dioxide dose is being
applied at 1.0 mg/L more than the chlorine residual. Determine the sulfonator feed rate in pounds of sulfur
dioxide per day.
A. 75.06 lbs/day
B. 92 lbs/day
C. 58.3 lbs/day
D. None of the above

30. Sludge floating to the surface of a secondary clarifier could be resolved by which of
the following?
A. Increase sludge wasting to decrease MCRT
B. Increase MCRT to greater than 6 days
C. Add NaOH to drop the pH
D. Sludge floating is no problem

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31. Which of the following would be a cause of dead spots in aeration tanks?
A. Sludge return rate to high
B. Air supply valve improperly adjusted
C. Predominate actinomycetes
D. Inadequate flow distribution

32. Denitrification is an indication of good treatment, providing that the sludge in the settleability test stays
on the bottom. If it floats up too early in the test this would indicate:
A. The operator should re-take the sample and test again
B. The sludge age should be reduced
C. The food-to-microorganism ratio is way to low and needs to be increased
D. None of the above

33. Which of the following are typical loading guidelines for activated sludge?
A. High-rate: COD >1, BOD >.5
B. Conventional: COD 0.5 to 1.0, BOD 0.25 to 0.5
C. Extended aeration: COD <0.2 lbs, BOD <.10 lbs
D. All of the above

34. In which of the following activated sludge processes is it recommended that the sample used for
microscopic observations be taken at the end of the zone?
A. Contact stabilization
B. Extended aeration
C. Step feed
D. Conventional

35. All microorganisms are classified in kingdoms such as plant, animal, protista and monera.
Which of the following organisms belong to the protista kingdom?
A. Fungi
B. Bacteria
C. Rotifers
D. Worms

36. Protozoa can be called "indicator organisms." Their presence or absence indicates the amount of
bacteria in the activated sludge and the degree of treatment. Which of the following is NOT part of the
protozoa family?
A. Thiothrix
B. Mastigophora
C. Amoeba
D. Suctoria

37. Bacteria is produce by binary fission which is called the generation time. The E. coli bacteria is found
in the intestinal tract of humans and warm-blooded animals. What is the generation time of this bacterium
in a broth medium?
A. 24 hours
B. 8 hours
C. 1 hour
D. 17 minutes

38. What is the suggested schedule for lubricating all valves stems, inspecting and greasing motor
A. Never
B. Semi-annually
C. Weekly
D. Daily

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39. Which of the following is not beneficial to the digestion process?
A. Sodium Hydroxide
B. Ammonia Nitrogen
C. Magnesium
D. Sodium

40. Feeding of raw sludge to an anaerobic digester should be done:

A. At night, during the period of low flow
B. When the solids content of the sludge is <3.5%
C. Spread over a period of time
D. Only when the volatile acids/alkalinity ratio in below 0.2

41. The efficient cleaning of a digester demands that operators follow appropriate safety rules. Which of
the following is the more important safety precaution to institute?
A. Isolate the gas collection and sludge system and provide adequate ventilation through the access
holes with the use of explosion proof fans.
B. Make sure everyone working has had proper immunization incase they come in contact with airborne
C. Train the back-up operator in proper use of rescue equipment
D. Make sure that processes will not be interrupted when digester is off line
E. None of the above

42. Which of the following describes aerobic sludge digestion?

A. Does not require air
B. Generates sludge that needs additional stabilization before ultimate disposal
C. Produces a sludge that has higher water content.
D. None of the above

43. Which of the following describes anaerobic sludge digestion?

A. Produces liquids that may be difficult to treat when returned to the plant
B. Produces liquids that usually are easier to treat when returned to the plant
C. Works by aerobic decay which produces fewer odors
D. Has low equipment cost

44. Laboratory results indicate that a total digested sludge solids sample was 9.6% solids and 42.8%
volatile content. The raw sludge solids volatile content was 68%. What is the overall % reduction?
A. 64%
B. 36%
C. 50%
D. None of the above

45. How many two cubic yard dump trucks would it take to haul dry sludge to a bed 100 feet long and 25
feet wide if the dried sludge were spread six inches thick?
A. 24 truck loads
B. 46 truck loads
C. 83 truck loads
D. 36 truck loads

46. According to the Water Quality Criteria for effluent, what is the suggested limit of Nitrite and Nitrate as
N for livestock and wildlife?
A. 1000 mg/L
B. 100 mg/L
C. 10 mg/L
D. 1 mg/L

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47. What would cause excessive algae in the effluent of a pond?
A. Outlet baffle not at proper location
B. Temperature or weather conditions promoting growth
C. The secondary clarifier is hydraulically overloaded
D. Skimmers not working properly

48. Your plant is designed with series ponds. The operator notifies you that there is excessive BOD in the
effluent that has the potential to cause your plant to be out of compliance. You calculated the organic
loading and it indicates an overload. How would you have the operator correct this?
A. Use pumps to recirculate the pond contents
B. Wait 24 hours and see if the pond corrects itself
C. Notify EPA or local authority immediately of the problem
D. Tell the operator to add chlorine to kill the excess organisms

49. When an atmosphere for a confined space can not be considered free of hazards which procedure
should be followed?
A. Wear approved safety belt and attached life line
B. Station at least one person to stand by on the outside and another within site to call for help
C. At least one stand by person with first aid and CPR skills
D. All of the above

50. What is the Upper Explosive Limit (UEL) for Methane?

A. 100%
B. 75%
C. 50%
D. 15%

51. Which type of fire extinguisher should be provided at a pumping station?

A. Water filled
B. Class A
C. Carbon Monoxide
D. Class ABC

52. Which of the following statements is true about covered Wet Pits(Lift Station)?
A. Work is never done inside one
B. Because of the cover moisture does not enter
C. Only explosion-proof equipment should be used
D. It would not be considered confined space

53. Highly acidic or alkaline wastes can be very hazardous and dangerous to personnel, treatment
processes, and equipment. By adding H2SO4, at the headworks, what effect would it have on the pH?
A. It would lower the pH
B. It would raise the pH
C. It would make the influent pH neutral
D. All of the above
E. None of the above

54. The National Fire Protection Association uses color-coded hazard warning labels for hazardous
materials. What is the color designated for Reactive materials?
A. Blue
B. White
C. Yellow
D. Red

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55. Which statement describes "Brinelling"?
A. When a pump and motor is in misalignment
B. Tiny indentations high on the shoulder of the bearing race
C. Lubrication failure
D. Motor bushing overheats

56. Which of the following materials is not part of the motor brush composition?
A. Carbon graphite
B. Copper
C. Metal graphite
D. Graphite

57. To properly maintain a standard three-phase variable speed synchronous AC motor you must have
some idea of what to look for when examining the slip rings and brushes. Which of the following
components should be examined before startup?
A. The coil inductor
B. The slip ring for a film
C. The disconnect switch
D. The piston rings
E. None of the above

58. What is the designed purpose of a suction bell on a pump?

A. Guide waste into pump suction pipe and reduces pipe entrance energy losses
B. Keeps pump primed for automatic operation by allowing entrapped gases to escape
C. Collects the waste discharged by pump impeller
D. Isolates pump from discharge system

59. What is the purpose of a shear pin in a reciprocating pump?

A. To insure alignment of piston
B. To indicate clogged suction line
C. To prevent damage by allowing eccentric to move to the neutral position

60. When installing new packing, what is the purpose of the lantern ring?
A. To allow clearance for the gland
B. To keep the packing spaced in the stuffing box
C. To keep the shaft from detaching
D. To allow cooling liquid to enter along the shaft

61. Motor failure can be very costly and cause process shut downs if backup equipment is not available.
Understanding insulation could help prevent problems to occur. How is the limitation of insulation defined?
A. Ambient temperature
B. Motor winding
C. Phasing of motor
D. Induction of motor
E. None of the above

62. Work needs to be done on a motor. Recommended safety procedures includes lockout / tagout and
suggest that the following component be discharged.
A. The capacitor
B. The inductor
C. The diode
D. The thermal switch

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63. Research has shown that there are several types of motor failures. Some can occur more frequently
than others can. Which of the following causes the greatest number of motor malfunctions?
A. Overloads
B. Single phasing
C. Bearing failures

64. Horizontal motors should be mounted so that all four mounting feet are aligned. When connecting a
pump and motor there are several types of misalignment. The following terms define types of
misalignment EXCEPT:
A. Linear misalignment
B. Angular misalignment
C. Parallel misalignment
D. Shaft end float

65. The electrical potential required to transfer electrons from one compound or element to another is
A. Oxidation reduction potential
B. Reverse osmosis
C. Ion exchange
D. Oxidation

66. Solutions generally used in the laboratory are expressed in what concentration?
A. Grams
B. Moles
C. Normality
D. Liters

67. The scale of a spectrophotometer is generally graduated two ways. If Units of Absorbance are used a
logarithmic scale of non-equal divisions is graduated from?
A. 10.0 - 20.0
B. 5.0 - 10.0
C. 0.0 - 2.0
D. None of the above

68. Which of the following chemicals are classified as explosive or flammable?

A. Carbon disulfide
B. Sulfuric
C. Nitric
D. Chromic
E. All of the above

69. What is the method for preserving a Sulfide sample?

A. Add 2 mL 1 M zinc acetate & 1 N NaOH to pH >9 and store at 4°C
B. Add sodium sulfide and store at room temperature
C. Add H2SO4 to pH <2 and store at 4°C
D. Store at 4°C

70. The Secchi disc is used to determine:

A. The weight of dry solids
B. The clarity of a clarifier
C. The depth of water
D. None of the above

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71. Calculate the % removal of settleable solids of a clarifier when the influent set. solution is 12.0 mL/L
and the effluent set. solution is 0.2 mL/L.
A. 98%
B. 16%
C. 50%
D. 2.4%

72. Ca(OH)2 has been used in wastewater treatment for many years. Usually it was used as a coagulant,
especially treating industrial waste. What is the correct name for Ca(OH)2?
A. Lime
B. Hydrated lime
C. Quicklime
D. Soda ash

73. Coliform bacteria, originating from the intestines of warm-blooded animals, are tested for in
wastewater because they can be indication of the presence of disease-producing organisms that can be
associated with them. Which test method is approved by NPDES to determine Total Coliform analysis?
A. Membrane filter method
B. Nonstandard titration method
C. Col-alert

74. Wastewater is relatively rich in phosphorus compounds. The forms of phosphorus found in wastewater
are commonly classified into three categories. Which category term measures the amount of inorganic
phosphorus in the sample of wastewater as measured by the direct colormetric analysis procedure?
A. Orthophosphate
B. Condensed phosphate
C. Organically bound phosphate
D. Total phosphate

75. The most important use of chlorine in the treatment of wastewater is for disinfection. When chlorine
reacts quickly and completely with ammonia in wastewater which compound is produced?
A. Disinfection by-products
B. Monochloramines
C. Hypochlorite

76. What is the volatile solids test measuring when it is performed on solids?
A. The amount of inorganic material
B. The amount of grease in the sample
C. The amount of nitrogen in the sample
D. The amount of organic material

77. Hydrogen sulfide generation is greatest when which of the following conditions occur?
A. pH above 9.0
B. Temperatures above 30°C
C. High alkalinity concentrations
D. High oxygen concentrations
E. All of the above

78. Aeration or high turbulence of wastewater will cause hydrogen sulfide to be:
A. Produced in higher concentrations
B. Stripped or carried out by the air
C. Bind with the nitrogen in the water
D. All the above

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79. What will the result be if septic sludge is put into a gravity sludge thickener?
A. The septic sludge will produce a more compact sludge blanket
B. The rate of settling will increase
C. The pH will decrease and the sludge will thicken more readily
D. Reduced efficiency and lower solids concentration

80. Which of the following is important in process control and would affect a dissolved air flotation (DAF)
A. Temperature
B. Air to solids (A/S)ratio
C. Alkalinity
D. pH

81. How would you determine the organic loading on a digester?

A. By determining the air flow in CFS per 1000 pounds of digester
B. By measuring the volatile solids loading per cubic foot per day
C. By measuring the rate of gas destruction in pounds per cubic foot per day
D. By determining the digestion time in days and hydraulic loading

82. What should an operator do to correct excessive foam in an aerobic digester when the DO is high, pH
is 7, and the O2 uptake is stable?
A. Increase the digester temperature
B. Raise the pH by adding Lime
C. Lower the air intake to reduce turbulence
D. All of the above

83. When lime is mixed with sludge to improve dewatering the pH should be:
A. 11.5 to 12.0
B. 9.0 to 10.0
C. 5.0 to 8.0
D. None of the above

84. When the Elutriation process is used what type of sludge conditioning is occurring?
A. Reduce the sludge alkalinity
B. Reduce the sludge acidity
C. Reduce quantity of anions in the sludge
D. Increase the sludge's affinity for water
E. All of the above

85. The purpose of a Venturi-type restriction on a belt filter press would be to:
A. Provide turbulence to mix polymer with the flow
B. Reduce sludge acidity
C. Increase sludge application speed
D. Control belt tension and pressure
E. All of the above

86. One factor that would allow for greater volumes of water to drain from the sludge in a belt filter press is
A. Mix more polymer with the sludge
B. Increase the belt speed
C. Increase the wash water being used
D. Decrease the belt tension

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87. What information should be used by operators to determine the optimum depth to apply sludge on a
sand drying bed?
A. The drying time and the time required to remove sludge
B. The depth of sand in the drying bed
C. The capacity of the underdrain
D. All of the above

88. The application of a free draining, non-cohesive material such as diatomaceous earth to a filtering
media is known as:
A. Binding
B. Filter break through
C. Wash out
D. Plate overrun

89. A typical set point to start backwashing a rapid-sand filter is at_____ of head loss.
A. 4 feet
B. 5 feet
C. 6 feet
D. 7 feet

90. What lab test is used to simulate a tertiary plant operation?

A. Jar test

91. Which of the following meters can be used to analyze and record the clarity of the filter influent and
effluent flows?
A. NTU or Turbidity Meter
B. TSS meter
C. DO meter
D. Parshall flume

92. In sludge incineration a complete oxidation of the sludge depends on:

A. The sludge feed rate
B. Detention time in the incinerator
C. The ratio of fuel/air supplied to the incinerator
D. Complete mixing

93. Ponding can occur at sites where wastewater effluent is being irrigated. Which of the following is NOT
a reason that ponding occurs?
A. Distribution line clogged with solids
B. A broken pipe in the irrigation line
C. Excessive application rate
D. Inadequate drainage

94. Land treatment systems, which have a point source effluent, are known as:
A. Irrigation systems
B. Water recycling systems
C. Overland flow systems
D. Infiltration / percolation

95. Advance or tertiary treatment may include which of the following processes:
A. Coagulation-sedimentation
B. Facultative decomposition and aeration
C. Aeration followed by sedimentation
D. Settling and centrifugation

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96. To control the pressure during filter backwash, most systems have a:
A. By-pass valve
B. Pressure regulator on backwash pump
C. Rate control valve which slowly opens
D. VFD's on pumps

97. Solids break through in a tertiary filter can happen when the:
A. Solids bind the sand bed of the filter
B. Solids pass through the media into the clearwell
C. Mud balls begin to float
D. Filter is backwashed excessively

98. Which of the following disadvantage is common to surface straining as contrasted to depth filtration?
A. Media contamination
B. Break through of TSS
C. Rapid head loss buildup
D. Fecal coliform buildup
E. None of the above

99. A depth filter media provides a slower buildup of head loss in the filter but this does allow for a quicker:
A. Lowering of the pH in the effluent
B. Anaerobic condition to be produced
C. Breakthrough of the solids
D. Backwash cycle
E. None of the above

100. Wastewater discharge in streams could be put in four pollution categories. Which of the following
would not be included in a category?
A. Organic
B. Dissolved Oxygen
C. Inorganic
D. Thermal
E. Radioactive

101. In most cases wastewater flowing into plant will contain pieces of wood, rags, trash, and other debris.
To protect equipment and the process downstream preliminary treatment is performed. What is the name
of the piece of equipment used to remove these items?
A. Bar screen
B. Trash compactor
C. Vacuum press
D. Solid waste screen

102. Grit should be removed early in treatment because it is abrasive and will rapidly wear out pumps. A
grit channel is designed to flow at a velocity of ______?
A. 4 ft/sec
B. 1 foot per second
C. 5 ft³/hr
D. The velocity does not matter, only the detention time

103. One way to freshen the wastewater and separate oils and grease is to add which of the following:
B. Chlorine
C. Bar screens
D. Grit removal
E. Pre-aeration

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104. Manual bar screens require frequent attention. What would happen to the flow if debris collected on
the bars?
A. Head loss
B. Flow would remain the same
C. Increase of raking
D. Flow would decrease

105. On a mechanical bar screen, which device regulates or controls the travel distance of a chain or
A. Limit Switch
B. Shear pin
C. Gear housing
D. Manually regulated by an operator
E. All of the above

106. The upper portion of a pond has air while the lower portion has no air. This pond would be classified
A. Facultative
B. Anaerobic
C. Aerobic
D. Activated sludge

107. Some ponds located in hot, arid areas, have been designed to take advantage of this condition:
A. Percolation
B. Condensation
C. Evaporation
D. Exfiltration
E. Sludge drying

108. A biological decomposition of organic matter with the production of ill-smelling products associated
with anaerobic conditions is called?
A. Putrefaction
B. Septic
C. Slurry

109. Operators should be familiar with a pond's characteristics at various times of the day. When is the pH
and the dissolved oxygen the lowest?
A. Middle of the day
B. Early evening
C. At sunrise
D. It stays the same

110. The process of adding a chemical compound drop by drop until a desired change occurs is known
A. Precipitation
B. Known addition
C. Titration
D. None of the above

111. The more familiar an operator becomes with the operation of a pond, the more accurate they become
with visual observations. What does a deep green sparkling color indicate?
A. Hospitality operations
B. Commercial facilities
C. Restaurants
D. Industrial facilities or operations

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112. Total solids in wastewater are composed of?
A. Dissolved solids and filterable residue
B. Suspended solids and settable solids
C. Colloidal solids and non-settable solids
D. Dissolved solids and suspended solids

113. The sludge volume index (SVI) is a procedure typically used at?
A. Activated sludge facilities
B. Stabilization ponds
C. Trickling filters
D. Sludge thickening facilities

114. Why must operators take representative samples?

A. To maximize the sample holding time
B. Grab samples should not be taken
C. Because the composition of the waste stream changes throughout the day
D. To insure analytical precision

115. A thirty-minute settleability test is used to determine?

A. The TSS concentration
B. The BOD concentration
C. The F/M ratio
D. The SVI

116. What is the maximum holding time of a sample that will be analyzed for pH?
A. None-analyze immediately
B. Six hours maximum
C. One day
D. Six days
E. None of the above

117. Which of the following procedures is commonly used to measure chlorine residual?
B. Scratch test
C. Presence
D. Tolidine method

118. Advance treatment of wastewater is sometimes used to remove nutrients. This type of treatment is
generally known as?
A. Phosphoionization
B. Chelation
C. Anaerobic treatment
D. Tertiary treatment

119. A pneumatic ejector is a type of?

A. Pump
B. Chlorinator
C. Laboratory equipment
D. Aerator
E. None of the above

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120. A progressive cavity pump is typically used for?
A. Moving large volumes of wastewater
B. Very small applications such as lab equipment
C. Pumping corrosives like ferric chloride
D. Pumping liquids high in solids

121. In a centrifugal pump, the water that is to be pumped moves through the?
A. The eye of the impeller
B. The lantern rings
C. Pulsation dampener
D. The intake grinder
E. None of the above

122. Before starting a centrifugal pump for the first time, the pump should be?
A. Under warranty
B. Primed with water
C. Inspected by a manufacturing representative
D. Filled with a start up lubricant
E. All of the above

123. An imaginary line running along the center of a shaft is called?

A. Axis to impeller
B. Axial to impeller
C. Pump centerline
D. Hemisphere

124. What is the proper operating position of the inlet and outlet check valves of a reciprocating pump on
the discharge stroke?
A. Intake open; discharge closed
B. Intake closed; discharge open
C. Intake open; discharge open
D. Intake and bake

125. Which of the following statements describes the proper operation of a progressive cavity pump?
A. Shut off intake valve near the end of the pumping cycle and run pump to clear solids
B. Never run the pump without liquid
C. Control the pump discharge by throttling discharge valves

126. Centrifugal pumps with two impellers are known as?

A. Multi-stage pumps
B. Compound pumps
C. Auxiliary pumps
D. Double pumps

127. The average velocity through a properly designed channel type grit chamber should be
A. 1 foot per second
B. 0.4 feet per second
C. 2 feet per second
D. 3 feet per second

128. An essential aspect of priming a pump is?

A. Closing the intake and discharge valves
B. Turning off seal water valves
C. Venting excess air
D. Briefly operating pump before priming

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129. Weeds and scum accumulation along levees of stabilization ponds can lead to?
A. Increase in DO
B. Mosquito breeding
C. Decrease in DO
D. Increase in COD

130. Head loss on the downstream side of a bar screen indicates?

A. A decrease in pumping efficiency
B. Debris on the bar screen
C. The barminutor is not functioning
D. A short detention time in the primary clarifier

131. Why is pretreatment vitally important to the operation of a sludge digester?

A. Without pretreatment, hydrogen sulfide and other gasses would be upset
B. Without pretreatment, the digester could become filled with grit
C. Without pretreatment, there would be insufficient microbes present
D. None of the above

132. If a mechanical bar screen ceases to operate, the most likely problem would be attributed to?
A. An overload motor circuit
B. Something jammed in the rake mechanism
C. A defective limit switch
D. An overcrowded telephone booth

133. When shutting down a pump for a long period, the motor disconnect switch should be?
A. Opened
B. Locked out
C. Tagged
D. All of the above

134. Pre-aeration can do all of the following except?

A. Disinfect
B. Remove gases
C. Add oxygen
D. Promote flotation
E. All of the above

135. Grit channel shutdowns are best scheduled for?

A. Periods of low flow
B. Mornings
C. Weekdays
D. Weekends

136. Before raking a manually-cleaned bar screen, the operator should be certain that?
A. There is nothing in the area that would cause you to lose balance and fall
B. The chain drive sprockets are disengaged
C. All power to the bar screen is locked and tagged
D. The cutting blade drive is disengaged

137. Select the best procedure for removing a mechanical bar screen from service.
A. Close inlet, turn off screen, close outlet, hose down
B. Turn off screen, close outlet, close inlet
C. Close outlet, close inlet, turn off screen, hose down
D. Close inlet, close outlet, turn off screen, drain, hose down

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138. Sodium nitrate has been used in stabilization ponds to improve the operation. When the operator
adds sodium nitrate, what condition will be improved?
A. Turbidity
B. Dissolved oxygen level
C. Fertilizer content
D. Hangover

139. If two polishing ponds are to be operated in series, this means?

A. Water will flow from one pond to another
B. The ponds will receive equal flows simultaneously
C. The ponds will be aerated intermittently throughout the day
D. There will be intermittent discharge from storage cell

140. Which of the following is not a good method of controlling odors in lagoons?
A. Recirculation from aerobic units
B. Pond needs more overloading
C. Floating aeration
D. Chlorination

141. Aerobic ponds are characterized by having dissolved ?

A. Oxygen
B. Methane
C. Carbon monoxide
D. Sulfate

142. The biological formation of scum on a stabilization pond will most likely occur?
A. In the afternoon
B. Shortly after a heavy rain
C. During warmer weather
D. When the pH is below 4

143. The minimum depth for a stabilization pond is usually considered to be?
A. 3 feet
B. 2 feet
C. 5 feet
D. 4 feet

144. The proper operation of a stabilization pond with surface aeration includes:
A. Frequent cycling of aerators
B. Continuous operation of all aerators
C. Summer operations only
D. Addition of sodium nitrate

145. Allowing the water surface to fluctuate in stabilization ponds will help to ?
A. Control shoreline aquatic vegetation
B. Control copepods
C. Control grit
D. Keep the pond aerobic

146. Which of the following conditions will have the greatest positive effect on the operation of a
stabilization pond?
A. Normal rainfall amounts
B. pH range of 5.0 to 6.0
C. Warm temperatures
D. Frequent wind for mixing

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147. Algae can frequently cause excessive solids in stabilization pond effluent. Which of the following
offers the best the best solution to this problem?
A. Chlorinate the effluent
B. Draw the effluent off from under the surface
C. Fluctuate the water levels in the pond
D. Kill the algae with radioactive waste

148. Black and brown scum on a stabilization pond is most likely caused by.
A. Organic overloading
B. Frequent level fluctuations
C. Inadequate chemical treatment
D. Low pH

149. If a water hyacinth culture is used in a stabilization pond, it may immediately result in?
A. Sludge contamination
B. Excessive growth of undesirable organisms
C. Foul odors
D. The removal of algae

150. Organic loading in a stabilization pond is defined as.

A. Pounds of BOD/person/day
B. Pounds of BOD/day
C. Pounds of BOD/gallon/day
D. Pounds of BOD/acre/day

151. If seepage is noted on the outside surface of a levee, the operator should.
A. Closely watch the situation
B. Repair the leakage with bentonite
C. Place rip-rap on both sides of the dike
D. Notify an engineer of the problem

152. Stabilization ponds will most likely have problems with mosquitoes.
A. If kept at maximum water levels
B. If offensive odors are present
C. If emergent weeds are allowed to grow near the shore
D. If algaecides are not used routinely
E. All of the above

153. Which would be the best method to prevent erosion by surface runoff to a pond or dike not exposed
to wave action?
A. Planting low-growing spreading grass
B. Using rip-rap
C. Using a shredded plastic mat
D. Covering the dike with pea gravel

154. Which of the following statements best describes the batch operation of a lagoon system?
A. Water moves in a plug flow from one cell to another
B. Permeable dikes are placed to slow the distribution of water to different areas of the stabilization pond
C. Discharge is restricted to specific periods
D. Each cell is operated independently of the other

155. A chlorine gas leak should be detected by?

A. A DPD procedure
B. Using a ammonia solution spray bottle and watching for a white vapor
C. Holding an open bottle of “Leak” finder
D. The RUN procedure

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156. The object of disinfection is to?
A. Kill most microorganisms except Fecal
B. Kill pathogenic microorganisms
C. Kill only coliform microorganisms
D. Kill bacterial spores

157. When chlorine is used in disinfection, the term 'free chlorine' refers to?
A. The loss of chlorine to the air
B. The amount of chlorine found in the water
C. Chlorine produced as a by-product
D. HTH in available form

158. Which of the following types of treatment would be expected to result in the greatest reduction of
pathogenic microorganisms?
A. Activated sludge
B. Pretreatment
C. Primary sedimentation
D. Stabilization ponds

159. The addition of chlorine to wastewater at the entrance to the treatment plant, ahead of the settling
units and before the addition of other chemicals is known as?
A. Post-chlorination
B. Breakpoint chlorination
C. Prechlorination
D. Hypochlorination

160. What is the purpose of a rotameter on a chlorinator?

A. It injects the chlorine gas into the water stream
B. It volatizes the gas to allow it to go into solution
C. It indicates the concentration of break-point chlorine
D. It measures gas flow

161. At which of the following temperatures will chlorine disinfection be most effective?
A. 25 degrees Celsius
B. 15 degrees Celsius
C. 20 degrees Celsius
D. 10 degrees Celsius

162. Which of the following chemicals is NOT used for dechlorination?

A. Sodium trioxide
B. Sodium sulfite
C. Sodium metabisulfite

163. Chlorine can be accurately described as a ?

A. Strong oxidizer
B. Solvent
C. Strong acid
D. Strong base

164. Impurities in water that bind with chlorine result in a condition known as?
A. Chlorine demand
B. Chlorine degradation
C. Chlorine residual
D. Chlorine isolation

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165. Hydrogen sulfide is extremely hazardous even at extremely low concentrations, due to its ability?
A. To impair the sense of smell
B. To bind with oxygen
C. To bind with fat tissue
D. To explode

166. An explosive gas that is in a concentration below its LEL will?

A. Explode upon ignition
B. Create and evolve into a complex life form just like human have evolved
C. Not explode
D. Extinguish any ignition source

167. The minimum concentration of oxygen allowable before entry into a confined space is?
A. 21.0% oxygen
B. 16.0% oxygen
C. 19.5% oxygen
D. 23.2% oxygen

168. A general rule to protect operators from electrical injuries is?

A. Allow only qualified personnel to service electrical equipment
B. Never work on equipment with a voltage higher than 120 volts
C. Always stand on a rubber mat when servicing electrical equipment
D. Try not to ground yourself when servicing electrical equipment

169. The proper fire extinguisher to have available near flammable liquids such as grease and oils is
which type?
A. Class B
B. Class A
C. Class C
D. Classless

170. The best way to learn about the harmful effects of a material you are working with is to?
A. Ask your supervisor
B. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the product
C. Check with a coworker
D. Check the safety chart
E. All of the above

171. Before entering an excavated trench, the operator should be sure?

A. That adequate shoring has been provided
B. That adequate personal protection equipment is worn
C. That there is no water present

172. Safety in the wastewater plant includes protection from infectious disease. Which of the following
disease is not contracted through wastewater?
A. Typhoid fever
B. HIV Virus (AIDS)
C. Cholera

173. When entering a manhole, how many other people shall be present above ground?
A. 2
B. 3,
C. 1
D. 0, as long as radio contact is maintained with the Fire Department

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174. The greatest danger posed by the accumulation of nitrogen gas in confined areas is?
A. Displacement of oxygen
B. Toxicity
C. Synergism with hydrogen sulfate
D. Flammability

175. Adequate protection from traffic hazards would include traffic warning signs. How far ahead of the
work should the signs be placed?
A. 250 feet
B. 500 feet
C. 100 feet
D. 1,000 feet

176 After working on equipment with rotating parts, operators should avoid injury during start-up by?
A. Energizing the equipment from a remote location
B. Standing close to equipment to observe or hear potential problems
C. Starting and stopping equipment rapidly to prevent full operating speed from being achieved
D. Standing away from rotating shafts

177. A Venturi meter is used to?

A. Monitor dissolved oxygen concentrations
B. Measure flows in pipes
C. Measure the rate of discharge through air blowers
D. Measure pressure differentials between head loss on centrifugal pumps

178. Flow measuring is very important to wastewater operators for all of the following reasons except?
A. It is useful for determining pumping rates
B. It is useful for freshening water before treatment, especially Parshall flumes
C. It is useful for determining chlorination loading
D. It is useful for determining organic loading on the plant

179. Which of the following statements concerning flow measurements is true?

A. Flow measurement devices remove an appreciable amount of BOD
B. Most process control decisions can be made without flow data
C. In actual practice, flow-measuring devices are rarely used
D. Flow measurement devices are most commonly at the plant headworks

180. Which of the following flow measurement methods is most commonly used in wastewater treatment?
A. Totalizer
B. Parshall flume
C. Rotameter
D. Venturi meter

181. The main purpose of completing an NPDES report is to?

A. Report operation and maintenance expenditures
B. Report effluent values to DEQ
C. Maintain a quality control program on laboratory equipment
D. Report pretreatment violations to DEQ

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182. Public relations is an important aspect of wastewater management. What must be done to insure a
positive image?
A. Give to the United Way
B. Disclose the NPDES reports
C. Keep the plant clean and neat
D. Send out a monthly newsletter
E. All of the above

183. Even though your treatment facility may be operating like a model plant, the operator may be asked
to prove its performance. The best way to accomplish this is to?
A. Keep good operating records
B. Hire a consultant to provide an unbiased view of the plant operation
C. Use a check list for maintenance activities
D. Retain samples of your effluent

184. A positive public image of wastewater operations and treatment facilities is important for continued
public support. Which of the following is most likely to give the public a negative image of your operations?
A. Odors and unsightly appearances
B. Higher than average utility expenses
C. Exceeding your discharge limits once a month
D. Amount of over-time worked

185. As the manager of a small wastewater utility, you are responsible for many duties except?
A. Making recommendations on regulatory standards
B. Planning for equipment replacement
C. Giving interviews with the media
D. Providing tours for schools or civic organizations

186. Convert a flow of 600 gallons per minute to million gallons per day.
A. 0.94 MGD
B. 0.86 MGD
C. 0.67 MGD
D. 0.77 MGD

187. Estimate the velocity of wastewater flowing through a grit channel if a stick travels 32 feet in 36
A. 0.89 ft/sec
B. 0.97 ft/sec
C. 0.64 ft/sec
D. .52 ft/sec

188. Determine the chlorinator setting in pounds per 24 hours to treat a flow of 2 MGD with a chlorine
dose of 3.0 mg/L.
A. 50 lbs./day
B. 42 lbs./day
C. 56 lbs./day
D. 61 lbs./day

189. To maintain satisfactory chlorine residual in a plant, the chlorine dose must be 10 mg/L when the flow
is 0.37 MGD. Determine the chlorinator setting (feed rate) in pounds per day.
A. 26 lbs./day
B. 28 lbs./day
C. 36 lbs./day
D. 31 lbs./day

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190. Convert 20 degrees Celsius to degree Fahrenheit.
A. 68 F
B. 72 F
C. 63 F
D. 75 F

191. A rectangular channel 3 feet wide contains water 2 feet deep and flowing at a velocity of 1.5 feet per
second. What is the flow rate in CFS?
A. 9 cubic feet per second
B. 8 cubic feet per second
C. 13 cubic feet per second
D. 6 cubic feet per second

192. Change 10 cubic feet of water to gallons.

A. 87.3 gallons
B. 99.2 gallons
C. 74.8 gallons

193. A circular secondary clarifier handles flow of 0.9 MGD and suspended solids of 3600 mg/L. The
clarifier is 50 feet in diameter and 8 feet deep. What will the detention time be?
A. 3.1 hr
B. 5.2 hr
C. 4.4 hr
D. 2.8 hr

194. Waste material which comes from animal or vegetable sources is called?
A. Coliform
B. Inorganic waste
C. Organic waste
D. Nutrients

195. If an operator refers to the retention time of a process, they are probably meaning?
A. The amount of time that water or solids are held
B. The ability of the process to bind with impurities
C. The ability of water or solids to retain oxygen
D. The ability of water to hold solids
E. The time that was spent in the safety meeting

196. Aerobic bacteria are those which?

A. Must have no oxygen present in order to function
B. Can function either with or without oxygen
C. Must have oxygen to function

197. Very small un-dissolved particles that resist settling are known as?
A. Stragglers
B. Colloids
C. Sludge
D. Ghost Particles

198. Chlorination can help eliminate odors in stabilization ponds and will also?
A. Increase the BOD loading
B. Increase the alkalinity
C. Interfere with the treatment process
D. Increase dissolved oxygen concentrations
E. All of the above

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199. During the evening hours the pH will decrease in a stabilization pond. The lowering of the pH is
caused by production of?
A. Sodium sulfide
B. Hydrochloric acid
C. Carbon dioxide
D. Sodium bicarbonate
E. All of the above

200. What is the definition of 'sewage'?

A. Nonpotable water.
B. Reclaimed water.
C. Untreated wastes from toilets, baths, sinks, lavatories, laundries, and other plumbing fixtures in places
of human habitation, employment, or recreation.
D. Human fecal matter.

Please e-mail or fax your answers and registration form to TLC.

Rectangular Clarifier

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Wastewater Treatment Answer Key Name

Phone # Address

1. ABCDE 52. ABCDE 103. ABCDE 154. ABCDE

2. ABCDE 53. ABCDE 104. ABCDE 155. ABCDE
3. ABCDE 54. ABCDE 105. ABCDE 156. ABCDE
4. ABCDE 55. ABCDE 106. ABCDE 157. ABCDE
5. ABCDE 56. ABCDE 107. ABCDE 158. ABCDE
6. ABCDE 57. ABCDE 108. ABCDE 159. ABCDE
7. ABCDE 58. ABCDE 109. ABCDE 160. ABCDE
8. ABCDE 59. ABCDE 110. ABCDE 161. ABCDE
9. ABCDE 60. ABCDE 111. ABCDE 162. ABCDE
10. ABCDE 61. ABCDE 112. ABCDE 163. ABCDE
11. ABCDE 62. ABCDE 113. ABCDE 164. ABCDE
12. ABCDE 63. ABCDE 114. ABCDE 165. ABCDE
13. ABCDE 64. ABCDE 115. ABCDE 166. ABCDE
14. ABCDE 65. ABCDE 116. ABCDE 167. ABCDE
15. ABCDE 66. ABCDE 117. ABCDE 168. ABCDE
16. ABCDE 67. ABCDE 118. ABCDE 169. ABCDE
17. ABCDE 68. ABCDE 119. ABCDE 170. ABCDE
18. ABCDE 69. ABCDE 120. ABCDE 171. ABCDE
19. ABCDE 70. ABCDE 121. ABCDE 172. ABCDE
20. ABCDE 71. ABCDE 122. ABCDE 173. ABCDE
21. ABCDE 72. ABCDE 123. ABCDE 174. ABCDE
22. ABCDE 73. ABCDE 124. ABCDE 175. ABCDE
23. ABCDE 74. ABCDE 125. ABCDE 176. ABCDE
24. ABCDE 75. ABCDE 126. ABCDE 177. ABCDE
25. ABCDE 76. ABCDE 127. ABCDE 178. ABCDE
26. ABCDE 77. ABCDE 128. ABCDE 179. ABCDE
27. ABCDE 78. ABCDE 129. ABCDE 180. ABCDE
28. ABCDE 79. ABCDE 130. ABCDE 181. ABCDE
29. ABCDE 80. ABCDE 131. ABCDE 182. ABCDE
30. ABCDE 81. ABCDE 132. ABCDE 183. ABCDE
31. ABCDE 82. ABCDE 133. ABCDE 184. ABCDE
32. ABCDE 83. ABCDE 134. ABCDE 185. ABCDE
33. ABCDE 84. ABCDE 135. ABCDE 186. ABCDE
34. ABCDE 85. ABCDE 136. ABCDE 187. ABCDE
35. ABCDE 86. ABCDE 137. ABCDE 188. ABCDE
36. ABCDE 87. ABCDE 138. ABCDE 189. ABCDE
37. ABCDE 88. ABCDE 139. ABCDE 190. ABCDE
38. ABCDE 89. ABCDE 140. ABCDE 191. ABCDE
39. ABCDE 90. ABCDE 141. ABCDE 192. ABCDE
40. ABCDE 91. ABCDE 142. ABCDE 193. ABCDE
41. ABCDE 92. ABCDE 143. ABCDE 194. ABCDE
42. ABCDE 93. ABCDE 144. ABCDE 195. ABCDE
43. ABCDE 94. ABCDE 145. ABCDE 196. ABCDE
44. ABCDE 95. ABCDE 146. ABCDE 197. ABCDE
45. ABCDE 96. ABCDE 147. ABCDE 198. ABCDE
46. ABCDE 97. ABCDE 148. ABCDE 199. ABCDE
47. ABCDE 98. ABCDE 149. ABCDE 200. ABCDE
48. ABCDE 99. ABCDE 150. ABCDE
49. ABCDE 100. ABCDE 151. ABCDE
50. ABCDE 101. ABCDE 152. ABCDE
51. ABCDE 102. ABCDE 153. ABCDE

WW Treatment 1/1/2006©TLC 263 (928) 468-0665 Fax (928) 468-0675

Please mail this with your final exam and registration page


DATE: ________________

NAME: _________________________ SOCIAL SECURITY ______________

ADDRESS: _______________________________________________________




1. Please rate the difficulty of your course.

Very Easy 0 1 2 3 4 5 Very Difficult

2. Please rate the difficulty of the testing process.

Very Easy 0 1 2 3 4 5 Very Difficult

3. Please rate the subject matter on the exam to your actual field or work.
Very Similar 0 1 2 3 4 5 Very Different

4. How did you hear about this Course? ____________________________________

5. What would you do to improve the Course?

Any other concerns or comments.


WW Treatment 1/1/2006©TLC 264 (928) 468-0665 Fax (928) 468-0675